Bartók saw the First Suite as ending his student apprenticeship, and the Second as a more mature and expressive work, with its last movement unveiling the simplicity of his new folk-derived style. In his final American years he arranged and, with his wife, performed a two piano version of this Suite (BB122). As Bartók did not ever get around to writing a full symphony, this work can well fill the after-interval symphonic slot. Alternatively, at about the same length as the Concerto for Orchestra, it can substitute for that work.
Note by Malcolm Gillies