This work is published for performance and study. This performance set includes a saddle-stitched full performance score for the pianist and a saddle-stitched part booklet for the violist. This publication, edited by Csaba Erdélyi, is available directly from Promethean Editions only due to copyright restrictions. A full orchestral score of the work (restored and orchestrated by Erdélyi) is available seperately (PE065).
About the work and publication:
This critical restoration of Béla Bartók's Viola Concerto made by the Hungarian violist Csaba Erdélyi represents a major contribution to Bartók scholarship, and has revived international interest in an important work by one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century. This edition is intended to serve as a basis for practical performance, and a critical apparatus is supplied so that comparison may be made with the work as it appeared in the composer's draft manuscript. The viola part is presented in two versions in the same folio; the first including Erdélyi's fingerings and bowings, and the second including only suggestions for dynamics and tempi, in order to provide a clean copy for the player's personal interpretation.
Posted by Dr. M on 19th Dec 2015
I am a Doctor of Music at a small American university. I started playing the viola when in junior high, almost forty-five years ago. Because William Primrose was my 'hero,' and because the Bartok concerto was premiered in my home town (Minneapolis) I've always tried to understand the Bartok concerto, but failed until now. It seemed (in the Serly version) to be a 'cut and paste' job- the themes were never developed, the allusions to the great violin/viola concertos of the past seemed inscrutable, and frankly, apart from the full orchestra ritornellos, I never warmed to it.
Well, about six months ago, I found that a new version/restoration (Erdelyi) of the work existed on disc, but had to be purchased from NZ. I was curious, and ordered it from halfway across the globe. From the first few minutes of the CD, I was absolutely floored- here was the Bartok 'voice' for the viola I had always envisioned, but had not heard. This is a POWERHOUSE concerto that ranks up there with the Concerto for Orchestra and other great Bartok works. But I had to content myself that there was no way to see the score- again, until I chanced/stumbled on this publishing firm, who has made the Erdelyi restoration available in print. Thank God.
This printed piano/viola score (of the Erdelyi transcription) is a joy to behold. The cover is stiff, and sturdy. The paper is heavy- this is a score that will be around for many years. The typesetting is beautiful, and extremely clear, in both the Piano reduction as well as the Solo Viola part. The brightness factor of the paper used, makes it legible for even a sexagenarian's eyes.
I can hardly wait to start work on a piece that now is one of my favorite viola works. I hope I am around when the Serly transcription goes out of copyright, to hear the Minnesota Orchestra do THIS version, as if discovering Bartok's masterpiece all over again.