First published in 1953, Halsey Stevens's The Life and Music of Bela Bartok was hailed as a triumph of musicology and quickly established itself as the classic text. Stevens combined an authoritiative, balanced account of the Hungarian composer's life with candid insightful analyses of his numerous works. To Stevens, the high point of Bartok's genius was the chamber music, which he assessed was of a quality unrivalled by any other composer
of the early twentieth century. But he evaluated Bartok's entire output with mastery, picking out the composer's strengths and weaknesses and conveying the essence of his compositional techniques. Stevens's views have greatly influenced the study of Bartok and Hungarian music over the last four decades.
Issued in a revised edition in 1964, Stevens's work now appears in a third edition, prepared by the Bartok scholar, Malcolm Gillies. A comprehensive chronological list of works is added, together with a select bibliography and discography. Minor revisions to the text are suggested in a new Introduction, and the text is enhanced by eight pages of photgraphs, some of them little known.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 382
Weight: 511 g
Dimensions: 216 x 137 x 23 mm
Edition: 3rd Revised edition
`one significant catalyst ... was surely the appearance in 1953 of the first comprehensive survey of his life and work by the American composer, Halsey Stevens. Stevens's major virtues in conveying his admiration for Bartok are his clarity and concision. ... his biography encompasses all the essentials and is graphic on the last, difficult American years. ... the analytic comments, ... are always apt. Which are just some of the reasons why this third edition,
prepared by Malcolm Gillies, remains after 40 years about the best way into a formidable and fascinating output.'
Bayan Northcott, BBC Music Magazine