Rupert Christiansen

Folk Hero

Béla Bartók

By

Yale University Press 456pp £25 order from our bookshop

Interviewing the great Hungarian conductor Georg Solti many years ago, I remember asking him to nominate the person who had meant most to him in the course of his long and distinguished career. The question was banal enough, but he responded to it with impassioned alacrity, jabbing his finger in the air. ‘Bartók! Because he was a good man!’ There was tremendous emphasis on the adjective and I am glad to see it endorsed by David Cooper’s authoritative and meticulous new study of the composer’s life and works, based on decades of research and reflection and surely destined to rank as a standard for many years to come.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • With our February issue about to go to press, enjoy a slice of LR history - Hilary Mantel on Joan Haslip's biograph… ,
    • What did London look like in the 6th Century? Rory Naismith's 'Citadel of the Saxons' tries to answer that questi… ,
    • Start your week with a dose of Russian Revolutionary zeal. Donald Rayfield reviews Tobie Mathew's 'Greetings From t… ,
    • A treat from the LR Archive: exactly 20 years ago, Malcolm Bradbury reviewed John Updike's 'Bech at Bay' ,
    • ‘When bullets come close, the noise they make as they go past changes from a zing to a crack’ John Lanchester's dy… ,
    • Man with a Bloody Paintbrush: Robin Simon on Lucian Freud ,
    • Jane Ridley reviews The Diaries of Kenneth Rose (ed. D R Thorpe) ,