The two young composers discovered that the so-called Hungarian music Liszt quoted in his Hungarian Rhapsodies were different than the Magyar music he heard in the small peasant villages. Bartók found that much of the old folk music he heard was based on the pentatonic scale, the scale used in Asian folk music, while the music liszt considerd Hungarian was popular tunes written by Romani (Gypsy) musicians that used different scales and structure. For a time Bartók was highly critical of Liszt's brand of Hungarian music, but later he came to appreciate the older composer's contributions to music.
I have collected Hungarian, as well as Slovak and Romanian folk music, and used it as models. And, before the world war, I even made a journey to North Africa in order to collect and study the Arab peasant music of the Sahara Desert.The Two Romanian Dances were written in 1910 when he was studying and collecting folk music.
|Bartok recording folk songs early in the 20th century|
Number 2, Poco allegretto - An odd mix of themes and moods that veer from humorous to violent. Bartók makes it difficult to know where the music is going, but there's no doubt it is going there with a vengence.