Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-viii

Contents

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pp. ix-x

List of Illustrations

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pp. xi-xii

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xx

...“If I play you notes, just notes on the piano like that, those notes don’t tell you any ideas. Those notes aren’t about burning your finger, or Sputniks, or lampshades, or rockets, or anything.” Leonard Bernstein offered this explanation to an audience of parents and children at a Young People’s Concert of the New York Philharmonic in 1958. “Music is never about anything,” he proclaimed, “music just is...

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Note on Hungarian Pronunciation

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pp. xxi-xxii

...All Hungarian names and words are pronounced with a strong accent on the first syllable. The Hungarian sz is equivalent in sound to the English s in soft; this is distinct from the zs, which sounds like the s in measure. The Hungarian s sounds like the English sh (as in shout). The letter j and the clusters ly and lj all approximate the English...

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1. Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra and the Demise of Hungary’s “Third Road”

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pp. 1-27

...The years immediately after the conclusion of the Second World War were turbulent ones in Hungary. Occupation by the Soviet army and food shortages made people’s everyday lives difficult, but the end of hostilities also brought the hope of establishing a democracy and renewing concert life.This was a moment of great openness, when all political and musical possibilities could be discussed frankly and their...

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2. A Compromised Composer: Bartók’s Music and Western Europe’s Fresh Start

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pp. 28-50

...For some, catching up meant forging a new connection to the traditions of modernism that had been abandoned in the early 1930s, picking up the thread as if Nazism had never existed; for others, it meant reconnecting to international musical life after a period of isolation. Perhaps most important, catching up meant making judgments about what had happened to music over the past few decades and what should happen next...

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3. “Bartók Is Ours”: The Voice of America and Hungarian Control over Bartók’s Legacy

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pp. 51-71

...The summer of 1950 saw a tremendous increase in funding for American foreign propaganda efforts, largely because of concerns about Soviet jamming of broadcasts from the West as well as Soviet propaganda broadcasts to Europe and to the United States. The lion’s share of the funding increase went to the radio broadcasting project known as the Voice of America (VOA), an ongoing program administered...

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4. Bartók and His Publics: Defining the “Modern Classic”

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pp. 72-93

...We have seen that some of Western Europe’s most devotedly modernist musicians harbored serious doubts about Bartók’s music in the late 1940s and 1950s.Yet for the concertgoing public on both sides of the Atlantic, this music’s appeal was widespread and growing. The composer and critic Vincent Persichetti noted that though Bartók’s music had been neglected in the United States before his death in 1945, by 1946...

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5. Beyond the Folk Song; or, What Was Hungarian Socialist Realist Music?

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pp. 94-116

...At the very end of his career, Béla Bartók wrote, “It is almost a truism that contemporary higher art music in Hungary has Eastern European folk music as its basis.” This casual acknowledgment belies the considerable effort that Hungarian composers and critics exerted throughout the first half of the twentieth century toward the creation of an art-music culture that embraced folk music. It is well known that...

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6. The “Bartók Question” and the Politics of Dissent: The Case of András Mihály

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pp. 117-148

...The most infamous Hungarian political event of 1949 was the show trial of László Rajk. Rajk, who had served as Hungary’s minister of the Interior and then foreign minister during the early postwar years, was imprisoned in May 1949 on false charges of treason, war crimes, and espionage largely associated with his ostensible support for Tito’s Yugoslavian brand of Communism rather than Stalin’s Soviet variety...

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Epilogue East: Bartók’s Difficult Truths and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956

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pp. 149-156

...The Hungarian ban on Bartók’s most modernist works remained in place from its inception in 1950 through 1955. As the tenth anniversary of Bartók’s death drew near, however, Hungarian officials were concerned about a possible recurrence of American propaganda attacks. Rákosi, who had recently resumed dictatorial control over the government as Hungary’s premier, decided that the best way to avoid...

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Epilogue West: Bartók’s Legacy and George Rochberg’s Postmodernity

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pp. 157-166

...Looking back on the relationship between politics and music during the cold war, György Ligeti observed that “with the collapse of practical, existing socialism the ice began to crack under the feet of the true-believing, ‘socially critical’ avant-garde.” It is true that Western modernism fell into uncertainty after the decline of socialism...

Appendix 1: Compositions by Bartók Broadcast on Hungarian Radio, 18 September to 1 October 1950

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pp. 167-169

Appendix 2: Biographical Notes

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pp. 170-172

Notes

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pp. 173-206

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 207-220

Index

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pp. 221-229