Bartók v. Björk

Bartók X. Björk synthesizes the music of two of the 20th century’s most ingenious musicians into one; it is an exploration of the avant-garde and adventurous. Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra is fused with the music of Björk, selected from her first three albums Debut, Post and Homegenic. These two composers from different genres are beloved for similar reasons: their radical and colorful musical language, extremes of emotional expression, and thrilling modernism. Underlying the combination are the parallels between the narrative and biographical context of Bartók’s Concerto and the subjects of Björk’s songs; the ominous threats of war in the first movement with ‘Army of Me’, the second movement’s playful ‘Presentation of the Couples’ pairs perfectly with Björk’s ‘Human Behavior’, the heart-wrenching third movement Elegy with Björk’s ‘All is Full of Love’ and ‘Hyperballad’, the ambivalence of the Finale’s conclusion with ‘Play Dead’, and the exoticism of the folk melodies throughout the piece with ‘Hunter’. Three female vocalists join the full orchestra.

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Steve Hackman

Conductor

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