The Sonatina brevis ‘in signo Joannis Sebastiani Magni’
(No 5, 1918) is a Nachdichtung
of Bach’s Fantasy and Fugue in D minor, BWV905 (of dubious authenticity). Following an original three-bar introduction featuring descending diminished sevenths, Busoni quotes the beginning of the model but then follows it in the freest imaginable manner. After using the fugue’s first two bars he only takes inspiration from it, resorting to adventurous counterpoint, with the falling motif worked into the texture, and concludes on the dominant.
from notes by Marc-André Roberge © 2013