In a note for the planned first edition of his Hungarian Peasant Songs in 1914, Bartók wrote that “the melodies published here are folksongs in the truest sense of the word; more precisely, peasant songs”. Bartók initially withdrew this work from publication, however, and added new pieces to it using folk music he had collected in the meantime. The first edition was only finally published in 1920. The Bartók scholar László Somfai explains the work’s complicated genesis in his preface. The comments at the close of this edition include important indications regarding performance practice derived from the two recordings that the composer made of several of its pieces in 1927 and 1936. The musical text here follows that of the corresponding volume of the Bartók Complete Edition that is currently in preparation. This is yet another highly popular Bartók work on offer from G. Henle Publishers!
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