Ferrucio Busoni (1866-1924) was one of the most gifted pianists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as being a composer of considerable importance and vision. A child prodigy, he debuted at the age of 12, being quickly marked out as a piano virtuoso unlike any other. His reputation for many years rested on his remarkable transcriptions of J.S Bach, which tended to overshadow both his original compositions and his other transcriptions.
This CD contains his complete transcriptions of Liszt. The tradition of a pianist transcribing another composer’s music for his own use was time honoured when Busoni made his versions of Liszt’s music. However whereas most pianist adapted works to suit their style and technical abilities, Busoni went a step further and wrote everything down, often illuminating his choices with rational and pertinent explanations for his changes. Busoni wrote in 1909 ‘I no longer play the piano with my hands’ – his intellectual, thought provoking approach to piano playing and his interpretational genius had taken his performances and his view of the music to another level altogether. Listening to these transcriptions is the nearest we can get to hearing Liszt’s music through the eyes, ears and mind of one of the finest musicians and greatest pianists the world has seen.
- Booklet notes by the artist
- New recording
- "Spektakulär und tiefgründig" Klassik.com, 2011