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Okay, Let’s Play Something Else

Looks like I”m doing some softball questions again.  For a pair of pretty expensive tickets to the NYPhil performance of  Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, led by Esa-Pekka Salonen, at Avery Fisher Hall on March 18, who can answer any of the following questions.

  • Where in New York did Bartók live when he died on September 26, 1945.  (Street and nearest cross-street)
  • In what hospital did he die?
  • Where is his grave?
  • What was the last work that he completed?
  • What friend of mine lived for several years in the same building?

Answer one or more and you might be a winner.


Comment from david toub
Time: March 11, 2011, 1:20 pm

Bartók has always been one of my favorite composers, Jerry. I used to walk past his last home, an apartment on W 57th street near Eighth Avenue, which has a plaque on it. He died at the West Side Hospital in Manhattan from complications of leukemia. While he was originally buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York, his body now lies in Budapest’s Farkasréti Cemetery (trick question, Jerry-nice). The last work he composed was the viola concerto-his last fully completed work was the concerto for orchestra, but I’m pretty sure the work most folks consider to be his last was the viola concerto.

How the hell would I know who your friends are and who lived in the same building as Bartók?

Comment from Jerry Bowles
Time: March 11, 2011, 3:42 pm

You didn’t have to answer them all but nice going, David. You have a free pair of tickets to Bluebeard. If you can’t make it up, you can give them to a friend. Just tell me whose name is leave them in at the will call. Now, you need to leave a new question because I have more tickets to give away.

Meanwhile, I’ll leave a new question. What two musicians were Bartok’s Rhapsody for Clarinet and Violin (1938) written for? Answer is good for a pair of tickets.

Comment from Sparky P.
Time: March 11, 2011, 3:50 pm

>>What was the last work that he completed?<< Actually, if you really want to be technical, his last completed piece was the Sonata for Solo Violin, finished in 1944 (since Bartok was just this short of finishing up the orchestration in the 3rd Piano Concerto, and the Viola Concerto was still really in sketch form when he died).

Comment from Chris McGovern
Time: March 11, 2011, 6:24 pm

I actually took pictures of the plaque, the doorway, and the bust of Bartok outside of that building that he lived in on W. 57th St (I took them on my cell phone, which, sadly, is inactive, but the plaque says “The Great Hungarian Composer Bela Bartok (1881-1945) Made His Home In This House During The Last Year Of His Life”.

Comment from Anne Nemeth
Time: March 11, 2011, 10:41 pm

I believe it was Goodman and Szigeti.

Comment from Jeff Harington
Time: March 12, 2011, 5:25 am

Many of you guys know this story already, but I know a guy online who once slept with the current tenant in that apartment. When he told her that this great composer had lived there, she was very surprised; said she’d never even read the plaque!

Comment from Jerry Bowles
Time: March 12, 2011, 11:29 am

Hi, Anne. You’re right so you’re a winner. Send me a note and I’ll tell you where to pick up your tickets. You can reach me at I live across the street from the Bartok building and can see the plaque in question from my windows. I was going to upload a picture yesterday but can’t find the cable for my camera.

Comment from david toub
Time: March 12, 2011, 12:46 pm

Hi Sparky. I wasn’t considering completed works, but most folks do consider the viola concerto to have been his last. It required a bit of work by Tibor Serly to complete.

Comment from Carson Cooman
Time: March 13, 2011, 2:19 pm

Hi David — Regarding Bartók’s viola concerto, it actually required an enormous amount of work on Serly’s part. Though Bartók had told Primose that the work was “nearly complete” (probably just to get Primose off his back), all that actually remained were 13 pages of sketches. It was entirely from those pages that Serly had to extrapolate the piece. Personally, I really consider him co-composer of the concerto with Bartók.

Comment from Jerry Bowles
Time: March 13, 2011, 5:37 pm

Looks like a couple of our winners may not be able to use their tickets so if you’d like a pair and can make it to the NYPhil Hungarian Echoes concert this coming Friday night, send me an e-mail with your contact info. First come, first served. e-mail: