Tune of the Day: Stick Game
As a young man, Bartók wrote his mother of his life’s ambition: to contribute to “the good of Hungary and of the Hungarian nation.” Although he made his living primarily as a pianist and teacher, he is now recognized primarily for his compositions and his ethnological work. During his lifetime Bartók collected and classified more than 14,000 folks melodies of Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian, Croatian, Turkish, Bulgarian, and North African origin. He was particularly drawn to the Romanian folk traditions, because he felt that the Romanian groups had been more isolated from outside influences and were therefore more authentic.
Romanian Folk Dances is a suite of six short piano pieces composed by Béla Bartók in 1915, and based on seven Romanian fiddle tunes. The first piece, “Jocul cu bâtă” (“Dance with Stick”, or “Stick Game”), is an energetic and merry dance coming from Mezőszabad, Transylvania.