Romanian Christmas Carols

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Romanian Christmas Carols, Sz, 57, BB 67 (Hungarian : Román kolindadallamok) is a set of little colinde, typical Christmas songs from Romanian villages, habitually sung by small groups of children, adapted in 1915 by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók to be played on the piano after hearing them sung in the below villages.



This work consists of twenty little songs put together into two major series. The movements are listed as follows:

Series A

  1. "Pă cel plai de munte" (from the region of Várhely, in Hunyad). Allegro
  2. "Intreabă si-ntreabă" (from the region of Malomvíz, in Hunyad). Allegro
  3. "Doi roagă să, roagă" (from the region of Malomvíz, in Hunyad). Allegro
  4. "Ciucur verde de mătasă" (from the region of Temesmonostor, in Temes). Andante
  5. "Coborâto, coborâto" (from the region of Alsóvisó, in Máramaros). Allegro moderato
  6. "În patru cornuți de lume" (from the region of Görgényorsova, in Maros-Torda). Andante
  7. "La lină fântână" (from the region of Sárafalva, in Torontál). Andante
  8. "Noi umblăm da corindare" (from the region of Sárafalva, in Torontál). Allegretto
  9. "Noi acum ortacilor" (from the region of Bisztra, in Torda-Aranyos). Allegro
  10. "Trei crai de la Răsărit" (from the region of Rogos, in Bihar). Più allegro

Series B

  1. "Colo-n jos la munte-n josu" (from the region of Körtekapu, in Maros-Torda). Molto moderato
  2. "Deasupra pă răsăritu" (from the region of Várhely, in Hunyad). Moderato
  3. "Creștemi, Doamne, creștiu" (from the region of Cserbel, in Hunyad). Andante
  4. "Sculați, sculați boieri mari" (from the region of Felsőoroszi, in Maros-Torda). Andante
  5. "Ăi, colo-n josu mai din josu" (from the region of Cserbel, in Hunyad). Moderato
  6. "Șio luat, luată" (from the region of Libánfalva, in Maros-Torda). Andante
  7. "Colo sus mai susu" (from the region of Temesmonostor, in Temes). Variante della precedente
    XVIIb. "Șio luat, luată" (reprise). Andante
  8. "Colo sus pă după lună" (from the region of Gyalán, in Bihar). Allegro
  9. "De cei domnul bunu" (from the region of Várhely, in Hunyad). Allegretto
  10. "Hai cu toții să suimu" (from the region of Gyalár, in Hunyad). Allegro

The movement numbered XVIIb is generally appended to the previous one, and, in publications, the variation is represented as a single movement, even though it is clearly specified where the reprise begins. Bartók also wrote a concert version with slight variations to the original version. These changes consist mostly of denser chords and octaves.

Notable recordings

Notable recordings of this composition include:

Piano SoloRecord CompanyYear of RecordingFormat
Jenő Jandó Naxos Records 2005CD [1]
Pietro Spada Arts Music 2008CD [2]

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  1. "Tracklist from the CD 8.554718 from the Naxos catalogue". Hong Kong: Naxos Digital Services Ltd. 2005. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  2. "Christmas Piano Music - Bartók, Liszt / Pietro Spada - Arts Music: 01273519". Arkiv Music. Retrieved 20 April 2020.