To the folksong collector during the first decade of the twentieth century Hungary afforded immeasurable opportunity. It is true that the isolated mediæval pattern of life of the peasantry had slowly changed… but peasant culture remained as it always had been, although economic and political conditions were completely altered. Nevertheless, when Bartók and Kodály […]

Sweet sorrow

‘When Bach writes of sorrow, it never crushes us. Perhaps because there is no trace of bitterness. ’ Wanda Landowska ‘Contemplative’, ‘remotely beautiful’, ‘a calm and floating unearthliness’ – descriptions of the f# Prelude from Book 2 vie with one another in a futile attempt to capture an emotional world that exists in music, and only in music. And […]