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Busoni: Piano Transcriptions / Holger Groschopp


Release Date: 05/26/2009 
Label:  Capriccio Records   Catalog #: 7015   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ferruccio BusoniJohannes BrahmsJohann Sebastian BachLudwig van Beethoven,   ... 
Performer:  Holger GroschoppFerruccio Busoni
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 4 Hours 25 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



FERRUCCIO BUSONI—PIANO TRANSCRIPTIONS Holger Groschopp (pn) CAPRICCIO 7015 (4 CDs: 265:10)


BUSONI Sonatina sopra Carmen (after Bizet). Sonatina brevis (after Bach). Grosse Fuge (after Bach). Widmung (after Bach). Fantasia nach Bach. Read more class="ARIAL12b">Albumblatt No. 3 (after Bach). Canto e Valse (after Chopin). Chopin Variations (1922). An die Jugend: Preludio, fuga e fuga figurata (after Bach); Giga, bolero e variazione (after Mozart); Introduzione e capriccio —Paganinesco (after Paganini). 4 kurze Stücke zur pflege des polyphonen Spiels: No. 5 (after Mozart). Klavierübung: Serenade aus Don Giovanni (after Mozart); Barcarolle (after Offenbach); Variationen aus Gondoliera (after Liszt); Variation on Prelude in G (after Chopin); Vision of Marguerite (after Gounod); Nach Mendelssohn. BACH-BUSONI Chaconne. Prelude and Fugue in E (version 1). Wohltemperierten Klavier, Teil I (Busoni edition): Prelude and Fugue in e; Technical Variants on Preludes in C? and B. BEETHOVEN-BUSONI Ecossaises. BRAHMS-BUSONI 6 Chorale Preludes. CORNELIUS-BUSONI Fantasie über Motive aus Der Barbier von Bagdad (after Cornelius). GOLDMARK-BUSONI Grosse Konzertfantasie über Merlin. MOZART-BUSONI Piano Concerto No. 9: Andantino (trans. Busoni with cadenza). SCHoeNBERG-BUSONI Klavierstück, op. 11/2. WAGNER (trans. Busoni) Trauermarsch zu Siegfrieds Tod. LISZT Fantasie und Fuge über Ad nos, ad salutarem undam (trans. Busoni). Mephisto Walzer No. 1 (arr. Busoni). Fantasie über 2 Motive aus Die Hochzeit des Figaro (arr. Busoni). MOZART (trans. Busoni/Groschopp) Fuge in c, K 546. NOVÁ?EK String Quartet in e: Scherzo (trans. Busoni). SCHUBERT (trans. Busoni) Ouvertüre in e, D 648


This collection of Busoni transcriptions, while far from complete, offers a number of previously unrecorded curiosities chiming in teasingly amid rarities and standards, in performances ranging from genial to towering. As a glance at the headnote tells, the degree of Busoni’s involvement with the music of others is often difficult to pinpoint. The Sonatina sopra Carmen , for instance, is usually classified with Busoni’s original works, though, at first blush, it seems to belong with the opera transcriptions. But what Busoni has done with the Bizet tunes—and with Carmen —is to propound an allusive essay on passion and death transcending the materials he has taken in a manner similar to contemporary literary techniques in the works of Eliot (e.g., the adaptation of Dante in The Waste Land ), Pound (the translation of Homer kicking off the Cantos ), and Joyce. It certainly does not belong with the potboiler potpourri on Goldmark’s Merlin , or with the delightful fantasy on themes from Peter Cornelius’s Barber of Bagdad , nor—again—with the 18-year-old’s straight and effective transcription of Siegfried’s so-called Funeral March from Götterdämmerung . Busoni’s transcription of the Liszt “Ad nos” Fantasy and Fugue for organ—while he pianofies, so to speak, some accompanying figures—is a more or less straight transcription; but with the first Mephisto Waltz he encountered the massive stumbling block of Liszt’s having already rendered the symphonic Tanz in der Dorfschenke as a stunning piano thriller. Busoni, therefore, made his own transcription from the orchestral score—a version Horowitz occasionally raided for his own idiosyncratic performances. In the familiar Chaconne, Busoni made a magnificent piano piece of that number from Bach’s Partita in D Minor for solo violin—a banal fact worth mentioning only to note that Leopold Godowsky produced whole albums of piano works spun off from Bach’s suites for solo violin and solo cello which are also worth hearing, as well as fascinating to play. The noncommittally titled Grosse Fuge is the kernel of what would be elaborated as the Fantasia contrappuntistica . And so on.


Compiled from CDs issued between 2000 and 2008 (see Fanfare 25:6), Groschopp emerges as a pianist of relaxed melodiousness, always smiling—even when there’s little to smile about—and intensely rivaled. For instance, the Sonatina sopra Carmen , the Chaconne, and the numbers from the sardonically titled An die Jugend , among others, trail tauter, more brilliantly focused performances by everyone from Busoni’s “disciples,” Egon Petri on 78s and Gunnar Johansen in the LP era to Geoffrey Douglas Madge’s uneven but high-flying six-CD collection, recently reissued by arkivmusik.com (Philips 420 740, Fanfare 11: 5). The superlative Johansen accounts, by the way, still languish on seven immensely filled LPs. In the 1970s, Paul Jacobs created a stir with the six sonatinas, the Polyphonic Studies , and the Brahms-Busoni transcriptions, which made it to CDs in 2000 (Arbiter 124)—no longer available but well worth tracking down for the stronger profile given those works (see Fanfare 3:1, 4:1, and 7:6). Likewise, David Buechner’s two Busoni albums ( Toccata, Introduction, and Capriccio—Paganinesco , and Chopin Variations , still available Connoisseur Society 4174, Fanfare 13:5; Fantasia nach Bach, Sonatina brevis, Widmung, Preludio, Fuga e Fuga figurata , discontinued Connoisseur Society 4212, Fanfare 21:2) were realized with such manic brilliance that they loom as benchmarks against which other accounts are assayed, and in that radiance Groschopp’s are eclipsed. Even Busoni’s “concert interpretation” of Schoenberg’s Klavierstück, op. 11/2 faces stiff—divinatory—competition from Daniel Barenboim (Teldec 98256). That is not to say that Groschopp is a poor pianist—far from it!—but that even in such relatively esoteric fare other accounts strike more deeply. In the Fantasy and Fugue on Ad nos , on the other hand, we seem to encounter a different pianist—Groschopp takes the bit in a magisterial account which puts most organists to shame and casts Hamish Milne’s prim go at the transcription into deep shade (Hyperion 67677, Fanfare 32:3).


So, what’s new? From the Klavierübung, that curious hodgepodge of exercises, second thoughts, teaching pieces, and mature works, to which Busoni devoted an inordinate amount of time in his last years, Groschopp culls a tilt at the Barcarolle from Tales of Hoffmann (titled simply Nach Offenbach ) pressed into service to illustrate Thalberg’s celebrated “three-hand effect,” and a spinoff from Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture as an exercise in double notes shared between the hands—brief, pleasant. Nach Gounod is a variation on the vision of Marguerite from Faust —very pretty, if rather small beer. A brief, arresting Variation on Chopin’s Prelude in G rounds out the Klavierübung selections, while the so-called Canto e Valse are Busoni aficionado Ronald Stevenson’s brief culls from the 1884 and 1922 versions, respectively, of Busoni’s Chopin Variations (Cleveland: Bardic Edition, c. 1988). The young Busoni’s fragmentary transcription of Mozart’s Fugue in c, K 546 (57 of Mozart’s 119 bars), still in manuscript, has been completed for inclusion, and—a major find—his transcription of Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in E Minor, BWV 533, tucked away in Book 1 of his many-splendored edition of the Wohltemperiertes Klavier , “where it served as a model in how to adapt a work for the organ to the piano.” Early transcriptions of Schubert’s Overture in E Minor, D 648, and the Scherzo from the String Quartet of his friend, Ottakar Nová?ek, afford large satisfactions. Nová?ek, had he survived, one feels, might have been someone to reckon with. Like the collection as a whole, these newly recorded pieces form a delightful miscellany rife with surprises. Groschopp’s annotations are richly informed and may well prove revelatory even for those familiar with “the literature.” Though the recordings were spread over four sessions and two venues, the aural perspective is constant—intimate and detailed, but recessed just slightly to prevent thunderous passages from clotting. For Busoni mavens, de rigueur , and enthusiastically recommended to the general listener.


FANFARE: Adrian Corleonis
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonatina super Carmen, K 284 "Kammerfantasie" by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; Berlin, Germany 
2.
Chorale Preludes (11) for Organ, Op. 122 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Austria 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
3.
Partita for Violin solo no 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: 5th movement, Chaconne by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
4.
Ecossaises (12), WoO 16 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni.
The attribution of these ecossaises to Beethoven is doubtful. 
5.
Pieces (3) for Piano, Op. 11: no 2 by Arnold Schoenberg
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
6.
Götterdämmerung: Siegfried's Funeral Music by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
7.
Fantasy on Goldmark's "Merlin" by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
8.
Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542 "Great G minor" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
9.
Quartet for Strings no 1 in E minor: Scherzo by Ottokar Novácek
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
10.
Andantino in C major, K 15b by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1764; London, England 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
11.
Don Giovanni, K 527: Deh vieni alla finestra [Serenade] by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague, Czech Republ 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
12.
Les contes d'Hoffmann: Barcarolle by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Paris, France 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
13.
Venezia e Napoli, S 162: no 1, Gondoliera by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Weimar, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
14.
Fantasia and Fugue on "Ad nos salutarem undam" S 624 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1850; Weimar, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
15.
Myrthen, Op. 25: no 1, Widmung by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
16.
Prelude and Fugue in E flat major, BWV 552 "St Anne" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1739; Leipzig, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
17.
Die Zauberflöte, K 620: O Isis und Osiris by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
18.
Fugue for Piano in C minor, K Anh. 39 (383d) [Fragment] by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
19.
An die Jugend, K 254: no 3, Giga, Bolero and Variations [after Mozart] by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
20.
Der Barbier von Bagdad: Overture by Peter Cornelius
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1858; Weimar, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
21.
Fantasia after Johann Sebastian Bach for Piano, K 253 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; Berlin, Germany 
22.
Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke, S 514 "Mephisto Waltz no 1" by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859-1860; Weimar, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
23.
Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: Suite by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
24.
Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 533 "Little Prelude and Fugue" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1707; Arnstadt, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
25.
Overture in E minor, D 648 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1819; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
26.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 28: no 3 in G major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1839; Paris, France 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
27.
Variations on a theme of Chopin, Op. 22 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902-1903; Russia 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni. 
28.
Variations and Fugue on Chopin's Prelude in C minor, Op. 22/K 213 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1884; Austria 
29.
Introduction and Capriccio paganinesco by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
30.
Albumblätter (3) for Piano: no 3, Berlin by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917-1923; Berlin, Germany 
31.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 37/K 181 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1882; Graz, Austria 
32.
An die Jugend, K 254: no 2, Preludio, fuga e fuga figurata [after Bach] by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
33.
Sonatina brevis, K 280 "In signo Joannis Sebastiani Magni" by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1919; Berlin, Germany 
34.
Fantasia on 2 themes from Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro," S 697 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Ferruccio Busoni (Piano), Holger Groschopp (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
35.
Faust by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Holger Groschopp (Piano), Ferruccio Busoni (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; France 

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