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Sarah Lucas: Fritz Reiner and a New Source for Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra

Bartók terem, 2017. június 22. csütörtök, 10 óra

The conductor most closely associated with Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra is Serge Koussevitzky, who commissioned the work on behalf of his Koussevitzky Music Foundation and conducted the first performances of the piece with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, but a recently discovered score brings another conductor—Fritz Reiner—and his role in the work’s early performance history to the fore. Among the important sources for Concerto for Orchestra is a full score prepared by professional copyists prior to publication, a copy of which Koussevitzky used to conduct the premiere. A second photostat of the copyists’ score, unknown to Bartók scholars until recently, bears extensive corrections written by Bartók himself. Furthermore, it includes markings by Reiner, the second conductor to program Concerto for Orchestra and the first to record it commercially. This paper provides an introduction to the Reiner score. It reflects early research into the circumstances surrounding Reiner’s acquisition of the score and its role in Reiner’s performances and recordings of Concerto for Orchestra, based on correspondence, scores, and other materials at the Bartók Archive and the Fritz Reiner Collection at Northwestern University.