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FERRUCCIO BUSONI (1866-1924)
Italian Pianist and Composer



Ferruccio Busoni was an important composer, a phenomenal pianist - one of the small handful of all time greats whose playing, both technically and interpretively, is to die for.  He was a teacher, writer and editor. He knew Liszt and heard him play. He knew Brahms and Anton Rubinstein, and had a close friendship with Sibelius. Among his students were Egon Petri, Dmitri Mitropoulos, Michael von Zadora, and Edward Steuermann. His composition students included Kurt Weill, Edgard Varèse, Otto Luening and Stefan Wolpe, all significant composers of the 20th century.

Busoni's own works include a monumental Piano Concerto for Orchestra and Chorus , well over an hour long and tremendously difficult to play. He wrote several fine operas, of which one, Doktor Faust, I found to be beautiful, inspired, and dramatic, an important opera and possibly the missing link to Berg's Wozzeck.

Busoni's editons and transcriptions of Bach and Liszt are well known but he also edited Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Schumann and Schoenberg. Busoni stands as a musical colossus with one foot still in the late Romantic era and one firmly planted in the modern.



Bach-Busoni  Chaconne in D minor from Violin Partita 2, BWV 1004


(beginning)



(conclusion)




Bach/Busoni: Chorale Prelude (Orgel-Choralvorspiel) "Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gmein" BWV 734

Beethoven/Busoni: Ecossaise WoO83 in E flat major

recorded in 1922




Bach  Prelude & Fugue in C major from The Well Tempered Clavier, Book I, BWV 846

recorded in 1922




Chopin  Nocturne in F major, Op 15~2

1905 Welte Mignon piano roll




The 1922 Chopin Recordings

Prélude in A major, Op 28~7
00:27 ➢ Repeat and short transition (modulation in the rhythm of the Prélude) leading to
01:03 ➢ Étude in G major, Op 10~5
02:51 ➢ Nocturne in F major, Op 15~2
06:27 ➢ Étude in E minor, Op 25~5




Chopin  Ballade in G minor, Op 23

1905 Hupfeld piano roll




Chopin  Prélude in D major, Op 28~15 "Raindrop"

recorded in 1923




Chopin  24 Préludes, Op 28

1920 Rulli Duo Art piano roll




Chopin  Polonaise 6 in A major, Op 53

Welte piano roll




Liszt-Busoni  Legende 2 "St. Francois de Paola walking on the waves"

1908 Hupfeld piano roll




Liszt-Busoni  Paganini Etude 1 "Tremolando"

ca1905 Hipfeld piano roll




Liszt-Busoni  Paganini Etude 3 "La Campanella"

piano roll




Liszt  Paganini Etude 5 in E major "La Chasse"

piano roll




Liszt  Paganini Etude 6

ca1908 piano roll




Liszt  Transcendental Etude 5 in B major "Feux Follets"

piano roll




Liszt  Hungarian Rhapsody 13 in A minor

recorded in 1922




Liszt  Polonaise 2 in E major

Welte piano roll




Beethoven-Liszt  "Adelaide" Op 46

1906 piano roll




Liszt  Fantasy on Themes from Beethoven's Ruins of Athens, S 122

1907 Welte Mignon piano roll




Schubert-Liszt  Hungarian March

piano roll




Liszt  "Reminiscence de Don Juan"

piano roll




Rossini-Liszt  10 Serenade "Mira la bianca luna" from Soirees de Rossini

1906 Hupfeld piano roll




Liszt  Valse a capriccio on two motifs from Donizetti's "Lucia" and "Parisina"

1905 Welte Mignon piano roll




Liszt  "Reminiscense de Norma" Fantasie on Themes from Bellini's Opera

1907 Welte Mignon piano roll




Liszt  Paraphrase on themes from Verdi's Rigoletto

1905 Welte Mignon piano roll










For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background

Murder in the House of the Muse

which is also available as an audiobook.



And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:

Murder Follows the Muse



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