Music: Barlok's Stepchild

Hungary's late great Composer Bela Bartok used to refer fondly to his First Piano Concerto as his "stepchild." Critics have often used harsher terms. "Unmitigated ugliness," wrote the Nation at the work's U.S. premiere. That was in 1928, when the 46-year-old composer himself was at the piano and his old friend Fritz Reiner on the podium. Since then, the work has rarely been performed in Europe and never by a major U.S. orchestra. Last week it made a long overdue reappearance under the baton of Conductor Reiner, and this time the stepchild clearly strode with a giant's tread.

The piano soloist with...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!