The famed Hungarian composer Béla Bartók (1881-1945) was also an accomplished analyst and scholar of Eastern European folk songs, successfully integrating them into his own works. 44 Duos for 2 Violins (BB104/Sz98), composed in 1931 for student training purposes, utilized many folk melodies.
Petite Suite (BB105/Sz113) was then excerpted from 44 Duos for 2 Violins and arranged for piano solo. First, with five movements in 1936, an additional song Walachian Dance was added around 1943, totaling six movements.
Each movement incorporates folk tunes, repeating phrases with varied dynamics, instruments, harmonies, and sound patterns. Focus on those contrasts to create the most appealing and colorful performances. It will help performers a great deal to hear the original works – not only the piano solo but the violin duos as well.
Here are the movement and measure numbers from 44 Duos:
I. Lingering Melody (28)
II. Walachian Dance (32)
III. Whirling Dance (38)
IV. Quasi Pizzicato (43)
V. Ukrainian Song (16)
VI. Bagpipe Player (36)
The movement titles differ depending on editions. This arrangement follows the version published in 2005 from Bartók Records by Béla Bartók’s second son, Péter Bartók. I did transpose the sixth movement up a minor second for more effective musical performance.
The following movements are contained in the arrangement:
I. Lingering Melody - Lassú
II. Walachian Dance - Máramarosi tánc
III. Whirling Dance - Forgatós
IV. Quasi Pizzicato