The composition strays from the path of the traditional concerto, having two rather than three movements:
Andante sostenuto
Allegro giocoso
Far from being an innovation, the two-movement form is the traditional design of the rhapsody: a slow movement followed by a fast one. Bartók had already used this form in 1904 for his first concertante work, the Rhapsody, Op. 1, for piano and orchestra (Mason 1958, 15).
Bartók used the Andante as the first of the Two Portraits, Op. 5, representing Stefi Geyer. It has been speculated that the second movement is a self-portrait of the composer (Mason 1958, 12).
The retrospective assignment of "No. 1" to this concerto (and the consequent redesignation of the Violin Concerto Bartók composed in 1936–39 as "No. 2") has met with some resistance, especially from Hungarian scholars and musicologists, on grounds that the composer had "annulled" this concerto, not only by excluding it from his list of mature works but also by extracting the first movement and reworking it in 1911 as the first of Two Portraits, Op. 5. The objection has also been made that, even though an early String Quartet, composed in Pozsony, and an early Sonata for Violin and Piano have been published, the traditional numberings of the String Quartets and the Violin Sonatas have not been changed. (Wikipedia)

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