Hyperion Records

Busoni, Ferruccio (1866-1924)  
© Amadeus Schwarzkopf, Zurich
Ferruccio Busoni, between 1916 and 1919

Ferruccio Busoni

born: 1 April 1866
died: 27 July 1924
country: Italy

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Born in Empoli, near Florence, Ferruccio Busoni (1866–1924) was the only child of the clarinettist Ferdinando Busoni and the pianist Anna Weiss. A prodigy whose precocious career fortunately went beyond a brief flash, he gave his first recital and wrote his first composition at the age of seven, and published his first work when ten. He completed his private studies in composition (in Graz) while still a fifteen-year-old teenager and, two years later, he began contributing reviews and articles to a Trieste newspaper. He later became aware that he had written too much music and published several works prematurely. Jürgen Kindermann’s thematic catalogue has 303 numbers for the original works and 115 for the cadenzas, arrangements and editions. Busoni considered that his Sonata in E minor for violin and piano, completed in late 1898, was his actual ‘opus 1’.

Busoni’s career as a highly respected piano teacher started in 1888 with one- or two-year appointments in Helsinki, Moscow and Boston. After a short period of activity as a freelance pianist based in New York, he settled in 1894 in Berlin, whence he managed his career as one of the most esteemed pianists of his time. In addition to Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Mozart, he championed Liszt and Alkan. Several of his private pupils, including Rudolph Ganz, Mark Hambourg, Eduard Steuermann, Theodor Szántó and Gino Tagliapietra, made a successful career. Returning to Berlin in 1920, after almost five years of self-imposed exile in Zurich, he taught composition to a small group of advanced students among whom was Kurt Weill. A highly cultivated person and a passionate collector of first editions, he kept an open house for musicians and intellectuals of various disciplines who sought his advice and enjoyed his brilliant conversation.

Like Liszt, Busoni devoted a large part of his production to the piano and became an acknowledged master of the transcription. This played against his reputation as a composer (which was what really mattered for him) until at least the centenary of his birth in 1966, if not the 1980s, because his name, for many, was associated solely with his Bach arrangements. Yet his output also comprises several works for chamber ensembles and for orchestra (including concertos), as well as songs and operas. His massive Piano Concerto of 1904 (recorded by Marc-André Hamelin on Hyperion CDA67143), whose fifth and final movement calls for a male chorus, with which he stylistically bid farewell to the past, and the Fantasia contrappuntistica (recorded by Hamish Milne on Hyperion CDA67677), a completion of the final fugue from Bach’s Art of Fugue within a large-scale original structure, written in 1910, have become much better known and admired over the last thirty years or so. This is also true of his four operas, especially Doktor Faust (1916–23), the final masterpiece that sums up his mature years as a composer.

from notes by Marc-André Roberge © 2013

Albums
'Busoni & Strauss: Violin Concertos' (CDA68044)
Busoni & Strauss: Violin Concertos
MP3 £6.99FLAC £6.99ALAC £6.99Buy by post £10.50 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 96 kHz £10.50ALAC 24-bit 96 kHz £10.50 CDA68044  NEW   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Busoni: Fantasia contrappuntistica & other piano music' (CDA67677)
Busoni: Fantasia contrappuntistica & other piano music
'Busoni: Late Piano Music' (CDA67951/3)
Busoni: Late Piano Music
MP3 £19.99FLAC £19.99ALAC £19.99Buy by post £26.00 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 96 kHz £30.00ALAC 24-bit 96 kHz £30.00 CDA67951/3  3CDs   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Busoni: Piano Concerto' (CDA67143)
Busoni: Piano Concerto
'Strauss & Busoni: Violin Concertos' (CDA68044)
Strauss & Busoni: Violin Concertos
MP3 £6.99FLAC £6.99ALAC £6.99Buy by post £10.50 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 96 kHz £10.50ALAC 24-bit 96 kHz £10.50 CDA68044  NEW   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Bach: Piano Transcriptions, Vol. 1 – Ferruccio Busoni' (CDA66566)
Bach: Piano Transcriptions, Vol. 1 – Ferruccio Busoni
'Bach: Piano Transcriptions, Vol. 2 – Ferruccio Busoni' (CDA67324)
Bach: Piano Transcriptions, Vol. 2 – Ferruccio Busoni
'Hommage à Chopin' (CDA67803)
Hommage à Chopin
MP3 £5.25FLAC £5.25ALAC £5.25Buy by post £5.25 CDA67803  Please, someone, buy me …  
'Marc-André Hamelin – It's all about the music' (DVDA68000)
Marc-André Hamelin – It's all about the music
Buy by post £16.00 This album is not yet available for download DVDA68000  DVD  
'Marc-André Hamelin live at Wigmore Hall' (CDA66765)
Marc-André Hamelin live at Wigmore Hall
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99 CDA66765  CD temporarily out of stock  
'Mozart: Stephen Hough's Mozart Album' (CDA67598)
Mozart: Stephen Hough's Mozart Album
'Rare Piano Encores' (CDH55109)
Rare Piano Encores
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55109  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'The Composer-Pianists' (CDA67050)
The Composer-Pianists
'The Essential Hyperion, Vol. 1' (HYP12)
The Essential Hyperion, Vol. 1
This album is not yet available for download HYP12  Super-budget price sampler — Deleted  
On other labels
'Emil Gilels & Yakov Zak – Mozart, Mozart-Busoni & Saint-Saëns' (APR5664)
Emil Gilels & Yakov Zak – Mozart, Mozart-Busoni & Saint-Saëns
MP3 £6.99FLAC £6.99ALAC £6.99 APR5664  Download only  
'Gina Bachauer – The first HMV recordings' (APR5643)
Gina Bachauer – The first HMV recordings
MP3 £6.99FLAC £6.99ALAC £6.99 APR5643  Download only  
'Grigory Ginzburg – His early recordings – 1' (APR5667)
Grigory Ginzburg – His early recordings – 1
MP3 £6.99FLAC £6.99ALAC £6.99 APR5667  Download only  
'Grigory Ginzburg – His early recordings – 2' (APR5672)
Grigory Ginzburg – His early recordings – 2
MP3 £6.99FLAC £6.99ALAC £6.99 APR5672  Download only  
'Michael Zadora – The complete recordings' (APR6008)
Michael Zadora – The complete recordings
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99 APR6008  2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only  
'The Transcendental Tradition' (APR5630)
The Transcendental Tradition
MP3 £6.99FLAC £6.99ALAC £6.99 APR5630  Download only  
'Vladimir Horowitz – The complete solo European recordings' (APR6004)
Vladimir Horowitz – The complete solo European recordings
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99 APR6004  2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only  
Complete works available for download
Allegro Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Canonic Variations and Fugue, BVB40 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Elegies, BV249 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Fantasia after J S Bach, BV253 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Fantasia after J S Bach, BV253 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Fantasia contrappuntistica Hamish Milne (piano)
Indianisches Erntelied Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Indianisches Tagebuch I, BV267 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Kammer-Fantasie über Carmen, BV284 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Kammer-Fantasie über Carmen, BV284 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Kammer-Fantasie über Carmen, BV284 Michael Zadora (piano)
Motive 'Allegro risoluto' Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Nine Variations on a Chopin Prelude, BV213a Jonathan Plowright (piano)
Nine Variations on a Chopin Prelude, BV213a Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Nuit de Noël, BV251 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Perpetuum mobile, BV293 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Prélude et étude en arpèges, BV297 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Preludio 'Allegro festivo' Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Preludio 'without the third finger, Moderato alla breve' Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Prologo, BV279 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Serenade 'Deh vieni alla finestra' from Mozart's Don Giovanni Leslie Howard (piano)
Seven Short Pieces for the Cultivation of Polyphonic Playing, BV296 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Sonatina 'ad usum infantis Madeline M* Americanae', BV268 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Sonatina 'ad usum infantis Madeline M* Americanae', BV268 Michael Zadora (piano)
Sonatina brevis 'in signo Joannis Sebastiani Magni', BV280 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Sonatina 'in diem nativitatis Christi MCMXVII', BV274 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Sonatina 'in diem nativitatis Christi MCMXVII', BV274 Michael Zadora (piano)
Sonatina seconda, BV259 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Sonatina, BV257 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Three Albumleaves, BV289 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Toccata 'Preludio, Fantasia, Ciaccona', BV287 Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Variations-Studie nach Mozart I Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Veloce e leggiero Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Violin Concerto in D major, Op 35a Tanja Becker-Bender (violin), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Garry Walker (conductor)   NEW
Vivace moderato, con precisione Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH  (1685-1750)
Adagio in G major, BWV968 Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt, BWV637/705 Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
Herr Gott, nun schleuss den Himmel auf, BWV617 Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV639 Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
In dir ist Freude, BWV615 Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, BWV665 Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
Komm, Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist, BWV667 Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gemein, BWV734 Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gemein, BWV734 Vladimir Horowitz (piano)
Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV659 Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV645 Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  (1770-1827)
6 Ecossaises for piano, WoO83 Michael Zadora (piano)
FRANZ LISZT  (1811-1886)
Fantasia on two themes from Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart, S697 Grigory Ginzburg (piano)
Fantasia on two themes from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro Stephen Hough (piano)
Fantasie und Fuge über den Choral Ad nos, ad salutarem undam, S259 Hamish Milne (piano)
Rapsodie espagnole, S254 Gina Bachauer (piano), The New London Orchestra, Alec Sherman (conductor)
LEOPOLD MOZART  (1719-1787)
Duettino Concertante Emil Gilels (piano), Yakov Zak (piano)
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART  (1756-1791)
Fantasia in F minor, K608 Emil Gilels (piano), Yakov Zak (piano)
Alphabetical listing of all musical works
6 Ecossaises for piano, WoO83 (Beethoven/Busoni)
Adagio in G major, BWV968 (Bach/Busoni)
Allegro (Busoni)
All'Italia! (In modo napolitano)  No 2 of Elegies, BV249 (Busoni)
An die Jugend, BV254 (Busoni)
Andantino  Movement 2 of Piano Concerto No 9 in E flat major 'Jeunehomme', K271 (Mozart/Busoni)
Andantino tranquillo  No 7, With the use of the third pedal (Steinway & Sons Sustaining-Pedal) of Seven Short Pieces for the Cultivation of Polyphonic Playing, BV296 (Busoni)
Benedictus  Movement 4b of Missa solemnis, Op 123 (Beethoven/Busoni)
Berceuse  No 7 of Elegies, BV249 (Busoni)
Canonic Variations and Fugue, BVB40 (Busoni)
Capriccio in B flat major 'on the Departure of his Beloved Brother', BWV992 (Bach/Busoni)
Chorale Prelude 'Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr'  Part 1 of Fantasia contrappuntistica (Busoni)
Ciaccona  Movement 5 of Partita No 2 in D minor, BWV1004 (Bach/Busoni)
Die Nächtlichen (Walzer)  No 5 of Elegies, BV249 (Busoni)
Die Zauberflöte (Mozart/Busoni)
Duettino Concertante (Mozart/Busoni)
Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt, BWV637/705 (Bach/Busoni)
Elegies, BV249 (Busoni)
Erscheinung (Notturno)  No 6 of Elegies, BV249 (Busoni)
Fantasia after J S Bach, BV253 (Busoni)
Fantasia contrappuntistica (Busoni)
Fantasia in C minor, BWV906 (Bach/Busoni)
Fantasia in F minor, K608 (Mozart/Busoni)
Fantasia on two themes from Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart, S697 (Liszt/Mozart/Busoni)
Fantasia on two themes from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro (Liszt/Busoni)
Fantasie und Fuge über den Choral Ad nos, ad salutarem undam, S259 (Liszt/Busoni)
Fugue  Movement 2 of Fantasia in C minor, BWV906 (Bach/Busoni)
Giga, bolero e variazione  Book 3 of An die Jugend, BV254 (Busoni)
Herr Gott, nun schleuss den Himmel auf, BWV617 (Bach/Busoni)
Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV639 (Bach/Busoni)
In dir ist Freude, BWV615 (Bach/Busoni)
Indianisches Erntelied (Busoni)
Indianisches Tagebuch I, BV267 (Busoni)
Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, BWV665 (Bach/Busoni)
Kammer-Fantasie über Carmen, BV284 (Busoni)
Komm, Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist, BWV667 (Bach/Busoni)
Little Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV533 (Bach/Busoni)
Meine Seele bangt und hofft zu Dir (Choralvorspiel)  No 3 of Elegies, BV249 (Busoni)
Missa solemnis, Op 123 (Beethoven/Busoni)
Motive 'Allegro risoluto' (Busoni)
Nach der Wendung (Recueillement)  No 1 of Elegies, BV249 (Busoni)
Nach Mozart: Adagio  No 6 of Seven Short Pieces for the Cultivation of Polyphonic Playing, BV296 (Busoni)
Nine Variations on a Chopin Prelude, BV213a (Busoni)
Nuit de Noël, BV251 (Busoni)
Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gemein, BWV734 (Bach/Busoni)
Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV659 (Bach/Busoni)
Overture  Arrangement of Die Zauberflöte (Mozart/Busoni)
Partita No 2 in D minor, BWV1004 (Bach/Busoni)
Perpetuum mobile, BV293 (Busoni)
Piano Concerto in C major, Op 39 (Busoni)
Piano Concerto No 9 in E flat major 'Jeunehomme', K271 (Mozart/Busoni)
Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV532 (Bach/Busoni)
Prelude and Fugue in E flat major 'St Anne', BWV552 (Bach/Busoni)
Prélude et étude en arpèges, BV297 (Busoni)
Preludio 'Allegro festivo' (Busoni)
Preludio 'without the third finger, Moderato alla breve' (Busoni)
Prologo, BV279 (Busoni)
Rapsodie espagnole, S254 (Liszt/Busoni)
Serenade 'Deh vieni alla finestra' from Mozart's Don Giovanni (Busoni)
Seven Short Pieces for the Cultivation of Polyphonic Playing, BV296 (Busoni)
Sonatina 'ad usum infantis Madeline M* Americanae', BV268 (Busoni)
Sonatina brevis 'in signo Joannis Sebastiani Magni', BV280 (Busoni)
Sonatina 'in diem nativitatis Christi MCMXVII', BV274 (Busoni)
Sonatina seconda, BV259 (Busoni)
Sonatina, BV257 (Busoni)
Three Albumleaves, BV289 (Busoni)
Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV565 (Bach/Busoni)
Toccata 'Preludio, Fantasia, Ciaccona', BV287 (Busoni)
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV564 (Bach/Busoni)
Turandots Frauengemach (Intermezzo)  No 4 of Elegies, BV249 (Busoni)
Variations-Studie nach Mozart I (Busoni)
Veloce e leggiero (Busoni)
Violin Concerto in D major, Op 35a (Busoni)
Vivace moderato, con precisione (Busoni)
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV645 (Bach/Busoni)
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