excerpt from 'Béla Bartók Letters' pp. 331 (161 words)

excerpt from 'Béla Bartók Letters' pp. 331 (161 words)

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Béla Bartók Letters

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That Vecsey-Saint-Saëns affair happened as follows: We were in Portugal, in Oporto, at the time. Saint-Saëns was also there. Papa Vecsey was intent on bringing him and Frankie together. I don’t know which concerto was to be ‘performed’, I can’t remember even the key, nor anything else about it, except that the son played the (end) andante movement at an impossibly slow tempo – obviously following his father’s advice. The composer arrived in the room of the hotel, and we started to play. When we reached the 2nd movement, Saint-Saëns interrupted with: ‘It’s impossible to play it like that', and, going up to the piano, he corrected it to a proper andante tempo. That made this otherwise boring (at least for me) piece at least tolerable. Saint-Saëns then left, and old Vecsey burst out, ‘Oh, he does not understand, he is not a violinist!’

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excerpt from 'Béla Bartók Letters' pp. 331 (161 words)


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