Bela's Village

Composer: Berners, John
Instrumentation: Woodwind Quintet Instruments: Bassoon, Clarinet, Flute, French Horn, Oboe

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Based on tunes collected by Bartok and arranged for Woodwind Quintet, this piece is in 4 divers movements. It is a nice challenge for any college level group.
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Bela's Village
Bela's Village

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    The Béla in the title refers to Béla Bartók, the twentieth-century Hungarian composer who used folk music of his region as inspiration for his own brilliant concert music. While he is rightly remembered today as a great composer, Bartók spent almost equal time and energy working as a musicologist, seeking and writing down peasant music in remote villages all over Hungary, Romania and the Balkans, to preserve this music before it was lost to the advance of commercial society.

    The melodies themselves have an irresistible, expressive and fresh quality to them. Often irregular and earthy, they are unlike what any “trained” composer would create. Each one is the product of generations of anonymous musicians, and as such is really a natural phenomenon more than an individual artwork.  Bartók regarded each of these melodies as perfect, like a flower or gemstone is perfect.

    My composition started with an assignment I give my composition class.  For this project, students work with folk melodies actually collected by Bartók, which they can find in the U Indy library in a collection of thick blue volumes. Then, following Bartók’s practice, students use their chosen melody as raw material for a piano composition. They are free to adapt the tune in any way they wish, and add accompaniment, often of a dissonant or modern variety.

    Béla’s Village is made in just this way, starting with four tunes collected by Bartók, adapting them, and setting them for woodwind quintet. My piece echoes Bartók’s style to some degree, to evoke life in a peasant village and to serve as a tribute to one of my favorite composers.

    This piece was written for and premiered by the Faculty Woodwind Quintet at the University of Indianapolis

    More Information
    SKU CM1592
    Price 20.00
    Delivery PDF download, Shipped (printed)
    Composer Berners, John
    Instrument Bassoon, Clarinet, Flute, French Horn, Oboe
    Instrumentation Woodwind Quintet
    Grade 4
    Duration 8
    Publisher Cimarron Music Press
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