Hyperion Records

Fantasia after J S Bach, BV253
In May 1909, a few months before the death of his mother, Busoni had lost his father. In his memory the son created an original work, poised and noble in tone, out of three organ pieces by Bach: Busoni’s way of thanking his father for an early introduction to the music of a composer he had been championing for years. The Fantasia after J S Bach (by ‘Bach-Busoni’, as the composer is identified on the cover page) is the first of his works that can be called a Nachdichtung—a work resulting from such a free transcription or adaptation of a model that it becomes original and independent in its own right. Following an improvisatory-like introduction in the low register leading to a more chromatic theme, Busoni offers his piano versions of the first, second and seventh sections from the chorale partita Christ, der du bist der helle Tag, BWV766. He also amplifies the fughetta on Gottes Sohn ist kommen, BWV703 (from the Kirnberger chorale settings), as well as the chorale prelude Lob sei dem allmächtigen Gott, BWV602 (from the Orgelbüchlein).

from notes by Marc-André Roberge © 2013

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