"It's as though we've been caught in a storm at sea and blown to shore with no more than the clothes on our backs."
So wrote the great Hungarian composer Béla Bartók (1881- 1945) on his arrival in New York in 1940, after losing his luggage on the voyage from war-torn Europe and finding himself sadly lost in an unfamiliar culture. He was to spend the last years of his life there, fighting sickness, poverty and failure. Nevertheless, consoled by the cycles of nature, his last five years produced some of his greatest and most moving music.
In this documentary film many of the composer's friends and colleagues, including Yehudi Menuhin and Georg Solti, join his sons Peter and Béla Jr to tell the story of these last years of exile. The music is performed by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ervin Lukacs and Sir Georg Solti, with György Sándor (piano) and Laszló Barsony (viola).
"An affecting portrait of a composer, who, they say, rarely smiled and spoke little but - in the words of Georg Solti - had the aura of a holy man." -The Guardian
"A detailed and often revealing portrait of the last five years of the composer's life." - The Times
Composer: Béla Bartók
Budapest Symphony OrchestraConductors: Ervin Lukacs and Sir Georg Solti
György Sándor (piano)Laszló Barsony (viola)
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