For today's Tuberculosis Thursday post, we want to share a nice surprise from a museum visitor this summer! Local piano player Benjamin Hundley played Béla Bartók's piece, "Evening in the Country," from the facsimile manuscript we have on display in our Art of the Cure Exhibit. He graciously shared a recording of it with us! This piece was played on the Bartok piano in the John Black Room in the Saranac Laboratory Museum; the piano was originally located in the home next to the Bartók Cabin. Bartók's wife, Ditta, often walked next door the play the piano during the summer of 1945. The original manuscript copy of "Evening in the Country" was given to the family of Manuel H. and Pilar G. Benero by Béla Bartók in 1943. Pilar Benero was a local piano teacher who befriended Ditta and often played piano with her.
Béla Bartók was first sent to Saranac Lake for his health because his illness was thought to be a recurrence of the tuberculosis he struggled with as a young man; he was later diagnosed with leukemia. Unfortunately, Bartók's time in Saranac Lake was not successful in treating his illness, and he died in New York City on September 26, 1945.
Click above to hear the recording of "Evening in the Country," courtesy of Benjamin Hundley.
To learn more about Bartók's time in Saranac Lake, visit our wiki!
[Image: a manuscript copy of "Evening in the Country," 1943, courtesy of the family of Manuel H. and Pilar G. Benero.]
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