Although Bartók arranged his Sonatine in three movements, the piece actually consists of five different folk tunes: he used two in the first movement, in an ABA form, and two in the last movement, which he then combines snatches of in the coda.
The Sonatine is in 3 movements:
I. Dudások (Bagpipes)
II. Medvetánc (Bear Dance)
In a radio broadcast of the Sonatina in 1944, Bartók described the piece:
This sonatina was originally conceived as a group of Rumanian folk dances for piano. The three parts which Mrs. Bartók will play were selected from a group and given the title of Sonatina. The first movement, which is called “Bagpipers”, is a dance – these are two dances played by two bagpipe players, the first by one and the second by another. The second movement is called “Bear Dance” – this was played for me by a peasant violinist on the G and D string, on the lower strings in order to have it more similar to a bear’s voice. Generally the violin players use the E string. And the last movement contains also two folk melodies played by peasant violin players.
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