Six pieces in Bulgarian rhythm are the last pieces in Bartok’s piano collection the Mikrokosmos, and as the title suggests, each one takes as its starting point an asymmetrical rhythm found in the folk music of Bulgaria. To Western ears these rhythms can sound quite complicated but in each case the structure is quite simple. Tonally the music is essentially bimodal – two modes layered on one another – at once familiar and strange to Western ears.

The music is quite triadic and this, along with the fact that the writing often pits left hand against right, suggested that they might work very well arranged for brass group. The first of the dances is far less idiomatic for brass than the others and so is not included, and the pieces have been rearranged into an order which I hope will work well in performance.

Stephen Hicks

Parts included:

  • Score
  • Trumpet in E-flat
  • Trumpet 1 in B-flat
  • Flugelhorn in B-flat
  • Trombone 1
  • Trombone 2
  • Trombone 3 (Bass)
  • Tuba

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