Well over half a century after his death, Béla Bartók is held up as one of the twentieth century’s great musical modernists, routinely coupled with revolutionaries like Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Webern and Varèse. But Bartók’s was a very different kind of journey. In some ways he was also a great conservationist, collecting and cataloguing his country’s folksongs, and looking for new ideas in the sounds of nature. Bartók was not a creator of systems, never an iconoclast; rather he sought ways forward by turning music back to its primal, natural roots before the forces of urbanisation and mechanisation cut them off completely. His message is therefore as relevant today as it has ever been. This portrait comes with 2½ hours of music from Out of Doors, Mikrokosmos, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, the string quartets, The Miraculous Mandarin, Concerto for Orchestra and more. Audio samples are contained in the text: just tap to listen while you read.