The exact date of this episode is unknown. We've filled in the date above with a placeholder. What we actually have on record is: 1966-03-06 (WNYC), 1961-11-19, 1973-10-04 (WNCN).
This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Piano music by Bela Bartok -- as played by the composer's wife, Ditta Pasztory and produced by Peter Bartok, their son and a recording engineer.
This Canby program features:
- Ditta playing excerpts from Mikrokosmos, a Bartok piece comprised of 153 piano pieces in six volumes, written between 1926 and 1939. Ditta's recording excerpts 24 short pieces from Mikrokosmos; her record begins with #123 and ends with #148-153.
- Excerpts featured on Canby's program include: (130) "Village Joke," (136) "Whole-Tone Scales," (137) "Unison," (141) "Subject and Reflection" [the hands play opposite of each other], (142) "From the Diary of a Fly," (146) "Ostinato," and (153) "Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm (VI)."
Ditta was the daughter of a piano teacher and a graduate of the Budapest Conservatory (1921). In 1922 Ditta went to the Royal Academy of Music to continue studying piano, and it is here where she became a student and then companion of Bela Bartok. After their marriage Ditta abandoned her solo career, but Bela would later encouraged her to perform piano duos with him. In 1940 Bela made a two-piano arrangement of seven of the pieces from Mikrokosmos, to provide some additional repertoire for him and Ditta to play. That same year, fleeing from the Nazis, Bela and Ditta emigrated to the United States where their work found little popular resonance.
Bela and Ditta continued playing together, and together they premiered the Concerto for Two Pianos, the orchestral version of the Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, on January 31, 1943 at Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic. This was the last time Bela Bartók would perform in public.
WNYC archives id: 58623