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Bartók composed the Sonatina for solo piano in his 'Romanian year' of 1915; this was when he also composed the set of Romanian Folk Dances and the Romanian Christmas Carols. In this relatively short piano piece (lasting three to four minutes), the composer used instrumental folk music collected in Transylvania. In the first movement, Bartók conjures up two bagpipes, and, in the second, a fiddler playing for a bear dance. The first edition of the Sonatina was published by Rózsavölgyi in 1919, and the composer premiered the work in 1920 in Pozsony (Bratislava).

This separate print is based on volume 38 of the Bartók Complete Critical Edition published in 2019, in which Henle Verlag of Munich and Editio Musica Budapest published the piano works composed between 1914 and 1920.

The musical text is accompanied by a preface in English and Hungarian by László Somfai, and by editorial remarks which not only discuss the sources but also offer practical advice for performers.

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