2. Quasi Adagio: Bartók
Initially the Bartók is exquisite when performed with subtle nuances of tone. The timing should be natural with no sudden changes. The listener should be aware of the rise and fall of dynamics emulating the emotional response to wandering thoughts as they pass through a distracted mind.
As a performer Quasi Adagio provides an opportunity to express the wonderful sorrow within the piece, focusing not on a plethora but a scarcity of notes and requiring each note to be all that it can be.
From an educator's perspective the benefits of demonstration here are invaluable. The phrase movement is difficult to describe and easy to demonstrate. This piece can be used to develop listening skills by understanding the sound before attempting the notes.
From a learner’s perspective it is essential to have an understanding of the sense of pulse, a good control of dynamics and an ability to phrase independently.
In conclusion the performer lends to the educator the benefit of personal experience and expertise. Played well and intuitively this piece demonstrates its sublime evocativeness but without such sensitivity it becomes nothing more than a robotic mechanism.
Chris Caton-Greasley LLCM(TD) MA (Mus)(Open)
Ethnographic Musicologist, Teacher, Researcher