With the “Concerto for Orchestra,” Henle inaugurates a series of affordable study scores based on the text of the Bartók Complete Edition. When Bartók received the commission to compose this piece from Serge Koussevitsky in May 1943, it meant not only financial support, but also an important creative impetus for the gravely ill composer. By October, the five-movement concerto, which Koussevitsky enthusiastically dubbed “the best orchestral work of the last 25 years,” was already complete. The first performances in the winter of 1944–45 were also very successful. Nevertheless, Bartók was moved to set down an alternate ending, which the composer, who passed away in September 1945, would never be destined to hear. Bartók specialist Klára Móricz includes both versions in her edition and summarises the history and transmission of the “Concerto for Orchestra” in a fascinating foreword. A brief commentary section provides information about the principles underlying the edition.

Read more about this edition in the Henle Blog.