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The biography of Belà Bartok by François Hudry , illustrated by Alain Goutal and accompanied by 2 compact discs

My own idea, of which I have been fully conscious since I felt like a composer, is the fraternization of all peoples, despite all war and all quarrel. I try, as much as my strength allows me, to serve this idea in my music; this is why I do not escape any influence, whether it comes from a Slovak, Romanian, Arab source, or any other. This source must only be pure, fresh and healthy! »

Béla Bartok

letter to Octavian Bleu dated January 10, 1931

Coming from an Austro-Hungarian region located at the confluence of Hungarian, Slovak and Romanian cultures (belonging today to Romania), Béla Bartok succeeded, through a remarkable feat, in constructing a resolutely personal language built on the layers of music history. born in 1881, he is one of the major composers of the first half of the 20th century. an era which, on a musical level, has nothing to envy of previous centuries.

Like Bach or Mozart before him, Bartok is in no way revolutionary and the novelty of his language lies in his use of an expanded tonality and rhythm coming from folkloric or extra-European sources. oscillating between despair and hope, denouncing the incommunicability between men, Béla Bartok 's message is above all that of a humanist expressing himself through a singular musical language resulting from his encyclopedic knowledge and a constantly awakening curiosity. .

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