The Sonatina ‘ad usum infantis Madeline M* Americanae’
(No 3, 1915) is dedicated to a girl of probably eighteen who was a friend of Busoni’s elder son, Benvenuto. It consists of five movements, of which the third is a march and the fifth a polonaise later used as the concluding number of the opera Arlecchino
(1914–16). Busoni may have intended it for the harpsichord (‘pro clavicimbalo [sic] composita’)—he had purchased a specimen from Arnold Dolmetsch in 1910—but it is usually played on the piano (only two of the fifteen or so recordings use the harpsichord).
from notes by Marc-André Roberge © 2013