One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

CD REVIEW



Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World


all Nimbus reviews



all tudor reviews


Follow us on Twitter


Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


alternatively AmazonUK   AmazonUS

 

 

Ferruccio BUSONI (1886-1924)
Piano Music - Volume 3: J.S. Bach/Busoni
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue, BWV546 (c1900) [17:03]; Trois Morceaux, K197  (1883/4) [9:40]; Second Ballet Scene, Op; 20/K209 [5:31]; Two Dance Pieces, Op; 30a/K235a (1889) [6:18]; Fourth Ballet Scene, Op; 33a/K238 (1894) [7:39]; Tanzwalzer (1920, arr. Von Zadora, 1921) [8:42]; Indianische Tagebuch, Book 1, K267 (1915) [10:58]
Wolf Harden (piano)
rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, 11-12 March 2006. DDD
NAXOS 8.550249 [69:40]

 


Congratulations to Naxos for foregrounding the music of Busoni, a composer often thought of as 'difficult' and hard to approach. This is the third volume - my colleague Christopher Howells has reviewed the second elsewhere on this site.

The Bach transcription is an easy inroad, it has to be said. While the arrangement is undeniably expert, with the Fugue invoking huge sonorities towards the end, it is not that interventionist. Harden plays extremely well, making the Adagio an identifiably first cousin to the slow movement of the famous Italian Concerto. The Fugue is rather peaceful but active.

Of the Three Morceaux, the Scherzo - the first piece - sounds rather slow, almost as if taken at half-speed. It leads to another Prelude and Fugue, the latter an extremely skilful example of its genre. Harden's light touch informs the First Ballet Scene, his light staccato adding an appealing cheekiness to the Second. The Fourth Concert Waltz is parenthesised, 'In the Form of a Concert Waltz' and is bitter-sweet; rather darker than anything so far - especially so towards its close. The Tanzwalzer is similarly half-lit, exploring its territory even more, veering on the hallucinatory at times.

The Indian Diary is one of Busoni's most famous pieces. If it appeals you might wish to explore the Indianische Fantasie on Chandos 10302 played by Nelson Goerner on a superbly recorded disc that also includes the Brautwahl Suite. Harden finds the quirky side of the first movement ('Corn Blossom'), the sweetness of the 'Bluebird Song' and makes the final 'Passamaquoddy Dance Song' remarkably broad-shouldered. 

The recording (Potton Hall) is good, if perhaps a tad light. A fascinating disc, with a value-for-money playing time. 

Colin Clarke

 


 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

 

 

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.