Ferdinando Busoni (1834-1909) was Ferruccio’s father, and in an autobiographical note Ferruccio described his father as "a clarinettist who handled his instrument as a soloist in a special way, sometimes drawing inspiration from the violin, sometimes from Italian vocal music. During his lifetime he turned his nose up at playing in an orchestra, partly out of pride and partly because he was a ‘natural’ artist who largely followed his instincts."
This rather special set includes two short pieces by Ferdinando, a Melodia for clarinet in B flat and piano that dates back to the 1880s, and the Rêverie pastorale for clarinet in B flat and piano written in 1870, a composition that is half way between the Feuille d’album and a genre piece, entirely in keeping with the late 19th century taste for what was distinctive and recherché. Alongside them are early pieces by Ferruccio in a gently Romantic style, written when he was just 10 years of age.
Inevitably, beyond the rarity value of such pieces, attention will turn to the pieces of Busoni’s maturity – most strikingly the Elegia for clarinet and piano and the Concertino composed in 1918. In both works we may hear the delicate but strenuously achieved balance between high Classicism, modelled on Busoni’s ultimate hero Mozart, and the post-Romantic language of his own era.
Davide Bandieri has performed in the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Claudio Abbado: he is one of Italy’s brightest young clarinettists.
This release presents the complete music for clarinet and piano by Ferruccio Busoni. The works span Busoni’s whole creative life, from the classical forms of his youth to the highly chromatic and expressionist language of his mature age.
Ferruccio Busoni went into history as one of the greatest pianists who ever lived, and as the composer of an extraordinary and eclectic oeuvre, consisting of piano works, chamber music, a monumental piano concerto and operas. His father Ferdinando Busoni was a famous clarinettist, so no wonder this instrument had a special attraction for Ferruccio.
As a bonus two works by his father Ferdinando are included in the programme, a Melodia and a Rêverie, exquisite genre pieces of the late 19th century.
Italian clarinettist Davide Bandieri is a versatile musician and scholar, he plays solo clarinet in the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, is an avid chamber music player and is specialised in contemporary music. He wrote the extensive liner notes for this set himself.