Béla Bartók

Maruntel (Fast Dance from Belebyes), for piano (Romanian Folk Dances No. 6), Sz. 56/6, BB 68/6

    Description by Robert Cummings

    The first five of the Romanian Folk Dances are each arrangements of a single tune, but this Maruntel is founded upon two--both of similar character: each is fast, as the parenthetical half of the title indicates, and each is festive and ecstatically joyous in mood. Actually, the pair is similar in character, for precisely the same reasons, to the previous piece in the set, the Romanian Polka. When the six Romanian Folk Dances are played as a cycle (which they usually are), they are generally performed without pauses, often making the last two sound like one piece.

    The Maruntel begins at a rapid pace with a jovial tune consisting of two short phrases and carrying a sense of pastoral merrymaking. It is played four times in rapid succession (in about eleven or twelve seconds!), after which the second theme is presented without transition, like a thoroughbred of out the starting gate. It is faster still and has a playful second subject, the whole hustling about, excited in its joyous manner. This charming piece ends after the second theme and its materials are presented a second time.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Denon Records
    1999 Biddulph Recordings YM080