If you name a performance Hungarian Rhythm, it's a foregone conclusion that the music of Béla Bartók must be included. Few classical composers have done as much to master rhythm as Bartók. After completing his formal musical training at Hungary's Royal Academy of Music, Bartók and friend (and fellow composer) Zoltán Kodály roamed the Hungarian countryside in search of traditional folk songs. The native music of Hungary and surrounding countries throbbed with rhythms unlike the ornate meters of classical Western music; savage, ancient and suitable for wild dances, these native rhythms were joined with Bartók's interest in musical structures based on the Golden Ratio to create music that is both wild and sophisticated — and exceptionally Hungarian. David Robertson and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra present the latest installment of the Classical Detours series, Hungarian Rhythm, at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Powell Symphony Hall (718 North Grand Boulevard; 314-533-2500 or www.slso.org). The program features the music of Bartók, Liszt and Ligeti, and is preceded by a social hour with appetizers and a beer sampling. Tickets are $20 to $30.
Thu., March 13, 2008