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Performance occupied much of Busoni’s attention until the turn of the twentieth century, when composition began to assume a new importance in his career. Busoni regarded his Elegien as the point where he discovered his true identity as a composer. Even at his most radical, however, Busoni never rejected what had gone before; the Elegien alternate between new works and transcriptions of older pieces.
Drawing on Bach organ pieces, Fantasia after J.S. Bach may sound backward looking in context, but its concept points determinedly towards the future.
Toccata was completed while Busoni was engaged in earnest on his crowning achievement, the music-drama Doktor Faust, whose essence pervades this most virtuosic yet also aggressive of the composer’s later piano works.
Ferruccio Busoni: Bach - Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 532
Prelude: Moderato - Alla breve - Adagio
Fugue: Allegro moderato
Ferruccio Busoni: Elegien
No. 1. Nach der Wendung
No. 2. All'Italia!
No. 3. Meine Seele bangt und hofft zu dir
No. 4. Turandots Frauengemach
No. 5. Die Nachtlichen
No. 6. Erscheinung
Ferruccio Busoni: Berceuse, "Elegie No. 7"
Berceuse, "Elegie No. 7"
Ferruccio Busoni: Fantasia nach J. S. Bach
Fantasia nach J. S. Bach
Ferruccio Busoni: Toccata
(on Volume 2)
“This disc maintains the high standards set by Harden in his first volume of Busoni piano music... A splendid demonstration of his awesome compositional and pianistic powers aged 18, and Harden’s account is the clear current benchmark.”
“Wolf Harden demonstrates yet again that he has an affinity for the composer and the prestidigitatory prowess to realize it”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.