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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While for most of Bartok works , there are similar pieces by other composers, I have struggled to find any pieces that are really similar to Music for String, Percussion and Celeste.
Works I have considered (and enjoy) but rejected as really being that similar:
Martinu Double Concerto for Two String Orchestras, Piano, and Timpani
Martin: Petite symphonie concertante
Bacewicz Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion

p.s. why do American pronounce Celeste with a 'Ch'?
 

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Not sure if there is a lot of similar pieces, and I would not expect any as good as that supreme Bartok masterpiece. I'd also have named the Martin, and maybe also his Polyptyque adn Etudes (both only string orchestra). You could look up other pieces dedicated to Sacher's orchestra but they are mostly strings only. I was slightly disappointed by Sandor Veress Concerto for piano, percussion strings and don't remember much of a Dutilleux piece "Mystere de l'instant" that seems also a bit inspired by the "Music for strings" etc.
These two pieces might still be worth trying, I have them on a Claves disc with Bartok's divertimento, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, dir. Holliger
 

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Bartok wrote quite a few works in the same vein. The Sonata for 2 Pianos and Percussion is an obvious example. But the 3rd quartet and the first two piano concertos also seem to belong in the same world. Gubaidulina is a more recent composer but some of her works - for example, Music for Flute, Strings & Percussion - seem somewhat similar. Also after Bartok (but slightly before Gubaidulina) is Schnittke: you could try the concerto for piano and strings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bartok wrote quite a few works in the same vein. The Sonata for 2 Pianos and Percussion is an obvious example. But the 3rd quartet and the first two piano concertos also seem to belong in the same world. Gubaidulina is a more recent composer but some of her works - for example, Music for Flute, Strings & Percussion - seem somewhat similar. Also after Bartok (but slightly before Gubaidulina) is Schnittke: you could try the concerto for piano and strings.
Thanks.
Just playing the Gubaidulina now. My wife dashed down from upstairs to say she thought she heard the cat trying to kill a bird. (it was the flute trills)
 

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I don't think there is another piece like Music for Strings Percussion and Cheleste (!) to be honest, it is an out and out masterpiece, a lot of people consider it Bartok's masterpiece - I don't quite agree, but I wouldn't go to war over it.....
I think other Bartok pieces are the closest you'll get to similarity, the Sonata for Two Pianos, some of the quartets (3,4,5 spring to mind). But also how about his pieces that tap into his mysterious "Night-Music" vein, that would have to include works like Out of Doors, and I'll throw one in from left field - Cantata Profana?

Another from a different composer to consider might be the Tippett Corelli Fantasia? There's a hint of the Bartoks in Lutoslawski's Funeral Music (unsurprisingly, no doubt). There's quite a bit more Martinu in the Double Concerto vein as well to look into, but ultimately, Bartok will always come out on top.
 

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I also thought of the Tippett Corelli piece but like some other candidates, incl. the Martin already mentioned, or the Concerto funebre and the symphony for string orchestra (#4, I think) by Hartmann they are just somewhat "dark" string pieces without the particular sound world (especially of its 3rd movement) of the Bartok.
The "night music" character also appears in some parts of the first Ligeti string quartet we had in the weekly string quartet about two weeks ago.
 

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^ I always think of the Tippett piece as influenced by the Vaughan Williams Tallis Fantasia ... which takes me away from the world of the Bartok piece. I'll have to listen again to see if I can hear it differently after all this time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
^ I always think of the Tippett piece as influenced by the Vaughan Williams Tallis Fantasia ... which takes me away from the world of the Bartok piece. I'll have to listen again to see if I can hear it differently after all this time
Many years ago , when I was a teenager, I heard the Vaughan Williams and the Tippett in the same concert (along with Elgar Enigma and Britten Frank Bridge variations) :Neville Marriner with ASMF in Canterbury Cathedral. I don't think you could get a more a more English concert!
The Tippett and Vaughan Williams were the two pieces that most suited the setting of a towering gothic cathedral: the VW with its modal harmony evoking the medieval nave and the Tippett, with the its soaring violin lines, reflecting the delicate tracery of the Gothic vaulting.
Tippett said somewhere that he greatly admired the beginning of the Tallis Fantasia but not the remainder from the Viola solo onwards: too folky.
With regard to the Corelli, Tippett was pleased when a friend told him about the Bach fugue BWV 579 , it enabled him to stiffen up the Corelli with some Bach. Similarities with the Bartok include highly complex counterpoint, the use of 4 keys for the different section separate by minor thirds (i.e Lendvai theory on Bartok's tonality) and the arch form where the music begins and ends with Corelli and within this the second and second to last sections being similar.(much of this is from Ian Kemp's biography of Tippett).

Incidentally the last concert I saw before lock down was of the Bartok Music for Strings and the Tippett Fantasia with my daughter playing the second solo violin.
 
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