The six string quartets of Béla Bartók, widely held to be the most important quartets since Beethoven, constitute one of the great monuments of twentieth-century music. This outstanding new volume brings together the first two of Bartók's chamber masterpieces. The stirring first quartet, written in 1908, captures the composer's great stylistic rebirth, as the intense Romanticism of the opening movement gives way to a propulsive finale that reflects the composer's growing interest in Hungarian folk music. The second quartet, written during World War I, finds Bartók combining boldly disparate influences into a work of astonishing force and originality.
Dover Original compilation of Quatuor á cordes, op. 7, originally published by Rózsavolgyi, Budapest, 1911, and Streichquartett II, originally published by Universal Edition, Vienna, 1920.