Bartók, Béla. (1881–1945)
Early Autograph Musical Quotation, inscribed to his Mother
An important early autograph musical quotation from the Hungarian composer, inscribed to his mother. Bartok has penned 12 measures from his Scherzo in B flat minor (B.B. 21), signed boldly, dated March 26, 1901 and inscribed at the head (translated from the Hungarian): "To widowed Mrs. Bartok," it being convention in Hungary to use the husband's name and then add "widowed" after his death. Matted together with a later photograph of the composer. Visible size 4.5 x 6.5 inches (11.8 x 16.3 cm), handsomely matted in red and gold to an overall size of 14 x 11 inches. Overall toning, but otherwise very fine.
Bartok's composition Scherzo in B flat minor (1900) was composed during his early years of study and inspired by his love for his classmate Felicie Fábián. The opening motif, F–F–B flat–B flat, is based on their initials, F. F. and B. B.. Fabian and Bartok worked together closely as students, sharing notes and critiquing each other's compositions. The Scherzo in B flat minor is one of three pieces related to her, which also include a set of piano variations on a theme by her (B.B. 22).