Bartók, Béla. (1881–1945) & Kodály, Zoltán. (1882–1967)
Original Scrapbook with Signed Program Covers and Press Clippings
A small handmade scrapbook containing two original 1934 Collegium Musicum of Budapest program covers signed by Bartók and Kodály, as well as numerous press clippings relating to the concerts. Bartók has signed in pencil on the cover of the program dated February 12, 1934, in which he accompanied four singers in an concert of Debussy; this program cover serves as the cover of the scrapbook. Kodály has signed the cover of a program dated April 11, 1934, where he performed his own works and those of Bartók. Both program covers have been decorated with clipped halftone portraits of the composers. The remainder of the 12-page booklet includes press clippings and one clipped press photograph from Bartók's performance, all neatly mounted and reinforced with stripes of tape. Toning and light overall wear, but generally in very good condition. 9.25 x 7 inches (23.5 x 17.6 cm).
Bartók was increasingly reluctant to perform in his own country during the 1930's, as the political climate shifted dramatically to the right and his anti-fascist views made him unpopular with the establishment. A need for money sometimes led him to perform others' works there, but not his own. As he wrote to a friend in 1935: "I don't play my works in Budapest, I cannot play my own works. There are a thousand and one reasons. I would prefer not to play them anywhere, because I am sick and tired of these concerts, they bore me to death." (Quoted in Claire Delamarche, Béla Bartók, chapter 11.)