Béla Bartók: Tomlocben

Written by Bright Sheng

Composer

In category: Song of the Day

Published February 14, 2019

Bartók once said that a simple folk melody can accommodate more complicated harmony. And here is a case in point. This descending Dorian tune repeats itself while the text changes, but the piano accompaniment changes quite bit along with the text, from consonance at the beginning to something more dissonant. I learned a great deal from performing this song many years ago.

Twenty Hungarian Folksongs 1. Tomlocben (Jail) by Béla Bartók

author: Bright Sheng

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Bright Sheng is respected as one of the foremost composers of our time, whose stage, orchestral, chamber and vocal works are performed regularly throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Born in Shanghai, China, he moved to the United States in the 1980’s and has been a professor of music at the University of Michigan since 1995. A composer with a distinctive and original voice, Sheng has created an oeuvre that is not only with Asian influence but also with a strong synthesis of Western musical tradition. His Three Chinese Love Songs will be performed in NYFOS’s Hyphenated-Americans on February 20 at Merkin Concert Hall.

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