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Busoni: Piano Concerto


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Audio CD, August 27, 2002
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Busoni: Piano Concerto: I. Prologo e Introito: Allegro, dolce e solenneChristoph von Dohnanyi/The Cleveland Orchestra & Men's Chorus/Garrick Ohlsson15:28Album Only
listen  2. Busoni: Piano Concerto: II. Pezzo giocoso: Vivacemente, ma senza frettaChristoph von Dohnanyi/The Cleveland Orchestra & Men's Chorus/Garrick Ohlsson 9:53$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Busoni: Piano Concerto: III. Pezzo serioso: Andante sostenuto, pensosoChristoph von Dohnanyi/The Cleveland Orchestra & Men's Chorus/Garrick Ohlsson23:02Album Only
listen  4. Busoni: Piano Concerto: IV. All' Italiana: VivaceChristoph von Dohnanyi/The Cleveland Orchestra & Men's Chorus/Garrick Ohlsson12:53Album Only
listen  5. Busoni: Piano Concerto: V. Cantico: Largamente, piu moderatoChristoph von Dohnanyi/The Cleveland Orchestra & Men's Chorus/Garrick Ohlsson10:27Album Only


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Product Details

  • Performer: Ferruccio Busoni, Garrick Ohlsson, Christoph von Dohnanyi, The Cleveland Orchestra and Men's Chorus
  • Audio CD (August 27, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B0000266O4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,832 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
84%
4 star
5%
3 star
0%
2 star
11%
1 star
0%
See all 19 customer reviews
The quality of the recorded sound is outstanding.
Mogulmeister
The orchestra plays well and handles the virtuosic fourth movement in stride.
Harvey
I liked Busoni's music just as it is, and I think that you will too.
Vera Kolb

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By "ldfr79" on October 11, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The first "bravo" goes to Busoni (posthumously). A gigantic piano concerto with orchestra and male chorus is not the norm, and Busoni wrote it with style and flair.
The second "bravo" goes to Garrick Ohlsson. To simply sit on the piano bench for 70 minutes is a feat in itself. However, Ohlsson gives a brilliant performance of the piece. The lights and darks he pulls out of the Bosendorfer are amazing. His technique is flawless.
The third "bravo" is for Dohnanyi. He conducts the orchestra with fire, sensitivity, and discipline.
A first rate recording.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Shota Hanai on February 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Ferrucio Busoni is certainly not one of those high-profile composers. Nor is his piano concerto as compared to other composers of the time including Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. The biggest reason would have to be none other than its grandiosity and universal theme, and that's what it makes this piano concerto like no other... not to mention being highly underappreciated.

As Busoni did to his concerto, his better known friend and idol Gustav Mahler did to his symphonies, yet we know Mahler's symphonies far more than Busoni's massive piece probably because we tend to expect and tolerate more out of it on symphonies (which have evolved throughout time) than the more tradition-laden concerto music.

The piano concerto is in five movements instead of the usual three, about 70 minutes in length (twice as long as most others), and features a male choir in the last movement, fairly reminiscent of Beethoven's 9th and Mahler's 2nd.

Even so, I am more than pleased to be exposed to this peculiar and special piano concerto. I'm definitely no expert on Busoni or his music, but it's really worth while to give it a listen and, hopefully, appreciate how he transformed concerto music into a whole new level.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By panicnow on February 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The Busoni concerto should be known, in my opinion, as being up there with the best of the genre rather than infamous for being long and huge. There are plenty of delightful and memorable moments and tunes throughout; the work is never cold or austere in its scale, as a few 19th-century symphonies can tend to be. If you break the 72-minute work down into movements and subjects it is actually a very digestible piece, long, yes, but also warm and spirited and memorable. Ohlsson's playing of the piece is great and his kind of big-boned approach is suitable for such a large-scale work. I've heard a small sample of Hamelin's and it sounded very good, but a bit too virtuosic where Ohlsson's was more monumental and exalted. Although he wrote some nice chamber music, in my mind Busoni would be similar to Godowsky, mostly a "transcription guy," were it not for this brilliant and wonderful piano concerto that rivals just about any I've heard.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Hank Drake VINE VOICE on May 17, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Before making this recording of Busoni's mammoth Piano Concerto in 1989, Garrick Ohlsson and the Cleveland Orchestra under Dohnanyi took the piece on tour. I saw them perform this at Symphony Hall in Boston. Boston Globe critic Richard Dyer called this the most stunning example of sustained virtuosity he'd ever witnessed. I don't often agree with Dyer, but he was spot-on here.

There are three noteworthy recordings of this Concerto: Ogdon's, Hamelin's, and this one. Hamelin's is a disappointment to me: an almost insolently fluent technique doesn't mask an emotional disconnect. There is also Ogdon's 1960s recording, for many years the only game in town. Ogdon's technique is excellent in this recording (it wasn't always reliable, especially during his medicated period, which came later), and his sound is huge. But there are moments when his rhythm goes inexplicably slack - Ogdon didn't have the best sense of structure and this is a concerto that needs it. It also needs a rock solid accompaniment, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Revenaugh are out of their depth. The woodwind playing in the Tarantella is particularly raggedy. I've noted a number of Amazon reviews which tout Ogdon's version over this, and reading them I can't help but sense that some are letting nostalgia override their musical judgment.

Ohlsson has all the technique of Ogden, with more color, an equally startling dynamic range, better rhythm, and surer sense of structure. He's helped by a gutsy sounding Bosendorfer Imperial grand. The Cleveland Orchestra more than rise to the occasion. Dohnanyi never lets majesty devolve into portentousness, or boisterousness into chaos, and keeps the various sections of the orchestra are uncannily balanced.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Harvey on November 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Ferruccio Busoni's Piano Concerto in C Major is a work of monumental proportions. Five movements long, timing at about 72 minutes total; this is the epitome of grandiose romanticism.

The work has 5 movements: Prologue and Introit, Joyous piece, Serious Piece, Italiana, and Cantico. The music is completely tonal, just with large proportions. The opening movement is expansive; the huge chords in the piano which occur after an orchestral introduction show right off the bat, Busoni's love of low and thick textures, and the diametrically opposed chords versus scales and arpeggios. The second and fourth movements are the scherzo's of the work. Both pieces (but the fourth movement especially so), show the virtuosity needed by the pianist. The fourth movement features a brisk Italian folk dance, featuring not only the virtuosity of the pianist, but of the orchestra as well. The 23 minute 3rd movement is epic. While it starts on the lyrical side, the movement as a whole is aggressive, and like the 1st movement, rather expansive. The final movement features a part for men's chorus as well as piano and orchestral forces. The movement is ethereal in nature, however, the work ends rather forcefully. The epic work gets an epic conclusion.

The music is exciting, often recalling Mahler. The Italian influence is only really noticeable in the fourth movement, but giving the piece a unique flavor. He favors the low and middle ranges of the piano, giving much of the music a powerful texture. His writing displays a lot of chorale-like settings and virtuosic scales and arpeggio passages. While it is easy to grasp Busoni's preferred formula, it creates nice uniformity and consistency throughout. Garrick Ohlsson is marvelous here.
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