Robert Greenberg – Bartok, String Quartet No. 6

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ASQ+Robert-GreenbergIn anticipation of tomorrow (1/19/13) morning’s concert, Robert Greenberg has a new blog for our The String Quartet at a Time of War: Britten and His Contemporaries program. Read the intro here and finish the wonderful blog on www.robertgreenbergmusic.com. Thanks so much to Mr. Greenberg for his wonderful insight!

Bartók’s String Quartet No. 6 was written in early 1939, at a very dark time in his personal life and in history.

Some background.

Adolf Hitler came to power when he was appointed German Chancellor – the head of the government – on January 30, 1933. The fools that arranged Hitler’s appointment did so because they thought he could be controlled. Things didn’t work out that way. By August of 1934, Hitler had outlawed all opposition political parties and assumed the mantle of the German presidency and Supreme Commander of the armed forces. There would be no stopping him and his twisted regime until his death eleven years later, in April of 1945.

Béla Bartók – pianist, composer, Hungarian patriot and a resident of the Hungarian capitol of Budapest – observed the rise of Nazism with undisguised revulsion. When the Nazi’s marched into and occupied Austria in March of 1938, Bartók suspected that it was only a matter of time before Hungary was occupied as well. He wrote to his friend and patron, Paul Sacher:

“There is the imminent danger that Hungary will also surrender to this system of robbery and murder. How I could then continue to live or work in such a country is inconceivable.”

When Bartók wrote that letter – which clearly indicates his intention to leave Hungary if events forced him to do so – he was 57 years old and not in the best of health; his mother was quite ill, and he was the sole bread earner for his family….

Finish the riveting blog at www.robertgreenbergmusic.com!

Alexander String Quartet and Robert Greenberg
Bartók: Quartet No. 6
Britten: Quartet No. 1

Saturday, January 19, 10:00am
Herbst Theatre
Tickets: www.sfperformances.org

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