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Busoni’s monumental Piano Concerto was completed in 1904 and remains the longest piano concerto to have been heard in public. He thought of the work as his ‘Italian Symphony’ but this Concerto for piano, orchestra and male chorus is an unclassifiable product, and an extraordinary synthesis of Austro-German and Italian impulses. In its virtuosity and lyricism it is one of the most remarkable works in the repertoire, making use in its final movement of the ‘Hymn to Allah’, from Adam Oehlenschläger’s play Aladdin. Roberto Cappello triumphed at the Premio Busoni competition in 1976 and is a leading international soloist.
Ferruccio Busoni: Piano Concerto, Op. 39
I. Prologo e Introito: Allegro, dolce e solenne
II. Pezzo giocoso: Vivacemente, ma senza fretta
III. Pezzo serioso: Introductio - Prima Pars - Altera Pars - Ultima Pars
IV. All'Italiana (Tarantella): Vivace - In un tempo
V. Cantico: Largamente
17th November 2011
“It takes a while to come into focus, and only really gets into its stride in the gigantic central movement. From then on, though, it begins to exert a real spell; Busoni's music often seems lacking a flavour of its own, but the final 20 minutes of the concerto are really unlike anything else I know.”