Béla Bartók’s Rhapsody Op. 1 No. 1 is a piano piece written in 1911. Bartok was an ethnomusicologist at the time, traveling and collecting Hungarian folk music for study and preservation. Bartok uses several traditional elements from Romanian music that hadn’t been repurposed in modern classical music up to that point. Bartok’s Rhapsody has been described by Bartok as “a kind of musical kaleidoscope of the awakening consciousness of a young man.” The piece is Bartók’s first major work, and one in which his fascination with folk music began to truly develop.
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