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Busoni: Piano Music Vol 3 / Wolf Harden


Release Date: 01/30/2007 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570249   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachFerruccio Busoni
Performer:  Wolf Harden
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Congratulations to Naxos for foregrounding the music of Busoni, a composer often thought of as 'difficult' and hard to approach. This is the third volume - my colleague Christopher Howells has reviewed the second elsewhere . . . .

The Bach transcription is an easy inroad, it has to be said. While the arrangement is undeniably expert, with the Fugue invoking huge sonorities towards the end, it is not that interventionist. Harden plays extremely well, making the Adagio an identifiably first cousin to the slow movement of the famous Italian Concerto. The Fugue is rather peaceful but active.

Of the Three Morceaux, the Scherzo - the first piece - sounds rather slow, almost as if taken at half-speed. It leads to
Read more another Prelude and Fugue, the latter an extremely skilful example of its genre. Harden's light touch informs the First Ballet Scene, his light staccato adding an appealing cheekiness to the Second. The Fourth Concert Waltz is parenthesised, 'In the Form of a Concert Waltz' and is bitter-sweet; rather darker than anything so far - especially so towards its close. The Tanzwalzer is similarly half-lit, exploring its territory even more, veering on the hallucinatory at times.

The Indian Diary is one of Busoni's most famous pieces. If it appeals you might wish to explore the Indianische Fantasie on Chandos 10302 played by Nelson Goerner on a superbly recorded disc that also includes the Brautwahl Suite. Harden finds the quirky side of the first movement ('Corn Blossom'), the sweetness of the 'Bluebird Song' and makes the final 'Passamaquoddy Dance Song' remarkably broad-shouldered.

The recording (Potton Hall) is good, if perhaps a tad light. A fascinating disc, with a value-for-money playing time.

-- Colin Clarke, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV 564 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Wolf Harden (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 17 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni.
Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (03/11/2006 - 03/12/2006) 
2. Ballet Scene no 4, Waltz and Galopp for Piano, Op. 33a/K 238 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Wolf Harden (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894; Berlin, Germany 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (03/11/2006 - 03/12/2006) 
3. Tanzwalzer, Op. 53/K 288 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Wolf Harden (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; Berlin, Germany 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Notes: Arr. M. von Zadora for piano, 1921. 
4. Indianisches Tagebuch: Book 1, K 267 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Wolf Harden (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916; Berlin, Germany 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 10 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (03/11/2006 - 03/12/2006) 
5. Morceaux (3), K 197 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Wolf Harden (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1883; Austria 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 9 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (03/11/2006 - 03/12/2006) 
6. Ballet Scene no 1, K 197 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Wolf Harden (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1883; Austria 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (03/11/2006 - 03/12/2006) 
7. Ballet Scene no 2, K 209 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Wolf Harden (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1885; Germany 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (03/11/2006 - 03/12/2006) 
8. Tanzwalzer, Op. 53/K 288 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Wolf Harden (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; Berlin, Germany 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 6 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (03/11/2006 - 03/12/2006) 

Sound Samples

Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV 564 (arr. F. Busoni): Toccata (Preludio)
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV 564 (arr. F. Busoni): Adagio (Intermezzo)
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV 564 (arr. F. Busoni): Fugue
3 Morceaux, Op. 4-6: Scherzo, Op. 4
3 Morceaux, Op. 4-6: Prelude and Fugue, Op. 5: Prelude
3 Morceaux, Op. 4-6: Prelude and Fugue, Op. 5: Fugue
3 Morceaux, Op. 4-6: Ballet Scene No. 1, Op. 6
Ballettszene No. 2, Op. 20: Ballet Scene No. 2 in F major, Op. 20
2 Klavierstucke, Op. 30a: No. 1. Waffentanz (Contrapuntal Dance Piece)
2 Klavierstucke, Op. 30a: No. 2. Friedenstanz (Ballet Scene No. 3)
Ballettszene No. 4 in Form eines Concert-Walzers, Op. 33a: Ballet Scene No. 4 in the Form of a Concert Waltz, Op. 33a
Tanzwalzer, Op. 53 (arr. for piano): Tanzwalzer, Op. 53 (arr. M. von Zadora for piano)
Indianisches Tagebuch (Red Indian Diary), Book 1: I. Corn Blossom: Allegretto
Indianisches Tagebuch (Red Indian Diary), Book 1: II. Song of Victory: Vivace
Indianisches Tagebuch (Red Indian Diary), Book 1: III. Bluebird Song / Corngrinding Song: Andante
Indianisches Tagebuch (Red Indian Diary), Book 1: IV. Passamaquoddy Dance Song, "The Broad Mississippisave": Maestoso ma andando

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