This evening we can listen to two arrangements of Bartók’s works at the House of Culture in Sárospatak. We will encounter completely opposite, yet very complementary arrangements of the classical works. Norbert Káel‘s arrangement suggests to play jazz in a traditional way; it formulates themes and musical ideas, improvises on them freely, builds on a basic theme from a single idea to create and weave together the fabric of the work, The Prince Carved in Wood. As the author explains, these jazz adaptations give the work a new aspect, smoothing out Bartók’s music, which is flexible and written with a lot of internal movement, slowing down and speeding up, thereby creating a sense of continuity. We will be able to enjoy a completely new musical composition, built from the Bartók work and elements of jazz and classical music, fused with improvisation.
Peter Sárik‘s approach is based entirely on the original piece, essentially not changing a single note of The Bluebeard’s Castle. In his own words: he comments on the events, he writes parts to amend them. This was a common technique in the history of music: Romantic composers performed many great Baroque works, where they kept every note of the original work, but added new ones in new types of phrasing, thus creating a work that was more plastic, more exciting, more virtuosic and more impressive in its mood and character. The same is done by Peter Sárik. He plays two cadenzas and a lot of counterpoints on the piano. All the notes and rhythms of the singers are performed according to the original work, yet the arrangement puts it in a new light and offers a new approach. In this case the basis is provided by the jazz drum and the jazz bass, which is very exciting, because you end up listening to The Bluebeard’s Castle in its entirety, but you come away from the concert with a very different feeling than if you had heard Bartók’s work in the original.