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Busoni: Piano Music Vol 5 / Wolf Harden

Release Date: 04/28/2009 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570891   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachFerruccio Busoni
Performer:  Wolf Harden
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Wolf Harden's Busoni cycle reaches a high point with Volume 5. Almost alone among pianists who've tackled Busoni's formidable Bach "St. Anne" transcription on disc, Harden does not aim to imitate the organ, but instead pares down the booming basses and delivers the treble register octaves with cutting brilliance and meticulously shaped ornaments. Only in the fugue's climactic final pages does Harden's energy flag. Similarly, he brings welcome transparency to the full-bodied, Schumannesque textures throughout the early Op. 16 Etudes and the later, more harmonically sophisticated Op. 33b pieces.

Volume 5 offers the Chopin Variations in their compressed 1922 revision, which is no less ambitious and difficult than the
Read more longer, earlier version on Volume 2. Harden plays superbly, particularly in regard to his deft balancing of rapid, chromatic passagework as it zooms in and around block chords and pillar-like bass octaves. Richard Whitehouse's informative booklet notes and Naxos' warm, clear engineering make this disc all the more attractive. Strongly recommended.

--Jed Distler,
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Works on This Recording

Variations (10) on Chopin's Prelude in c, Op. 22/K 213a by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Wolf Harden (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; Berlin, Germany 
Prelude and Fugue in E flat major, BWV 552 "St Anne" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Wolf Harden (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1739; Leipzig, Germany 
Etudes (6) for Piano, Op. 16/K 203 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Wolf Harden (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1883; Vienna, Austria 
Pieces (6) for Piano, Op. 33b/K 241 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Wolf Harden (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1896; Berlin, Germany 

Sound Samples

Prelude and Fugue in E flat major, BWV 552, "St. Anne" (arr. F. Busoni for piano): Prelude
Prelude and Fugue in E flat major, BWV 552, "St. Anne" (arr. F. Busoni for piano): Fugue
6 Etudes, Op. 16: No. 1. Allegro deciso
6 Etudes, Op. 16: No. 2. Allegro moderato
6 Etudes, Op. 16: No. 3. Moderato
6 Etudes, Op. 16: No. 4. Allegro assai e con fuoco
6 Etudes, Op. 16: No. 5. Fuga: Allegro giusto
6 Etudes, Op. 16: No. 6. Scherzo: Vivacissimo, energico, feroce
6 Stucke, Op. 33b: No. 1. Schwermut (Melancholy): Largamente e grave
6 Stucke, Op. 33b: No. 2. Frohsinn (Gaiety): Tempo di Valse, elegante e vivace
6 Stucke, Op. 33b: No. 3. Scherzino (Little scherzo): Vivace e giocoso
6 Stucke, Op. 33b: No. 4. Fantasia in modo antico (Fantasy in olden style): Largamente, molto espressivo - Allegro risoluto
6 Stucke, Op. 33b: No. 5. Finnisch Ballade (Finnish Ballad): Andante
6 Stucke, Op. 33b: No. 6. Schluss-Musik: Exeunt omnes (Recessional Music: All depart): Pomposo marziale e vivace
Variations and Fugue in Free Form on Chopin's C minor Prelude, Op. 22: 10 Variations on Chopin's C minor Prelude (revised 1922 version of Op. 22)

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