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Busoni and the Piano: The Works, the Writings, and the Recordings (Contributions to the Study of Music and Dance) Hardcover – June 18, 1986

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Product Details

  • Series: Contributions to the Study of Music and Dance (Book 7)
  • Hardcover: 423 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger; First Edition edition (June 18, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313236712
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313236716
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,140,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This volume is decidedly a labor of love. The author (an Australian musicologist) was evidently originally influenced by his first piano teacher, Winifred Burston, herself a pupil of Busoni. The work is not merely a catalog of all the piano compositions (solo, four hands, two pianos, piano and orchestra, arrangements, transcriptions, hybrid works, unpublished works) as the title might imply, but a vast descriptive, critical, and sometimes analytical essay. The splendid, many-faceted treatment was almost necessary if the author were to fulfill his aim, to "throw some light on Busoni's thought processes as a composer and performer and to interest pianists in performing Busoni." He thus treats many areas of the composer's work, such as his theory of notation, his compositional growth, etc. Essential for academic music collections. J. Richard Belanger, Susquehanna Univ. Lib., Selinsgrove, Pa.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"An exhaustive survey of all Busoni's piano works, published and unpublished.... Each listing includes publication information and descriptive commentary, often with an analysis and musical examples. More than just listings, Sitsky addresses Busoni's position in music history, his philosophy, theory of notation, and compositional growth. Also included are a discography of Busoni's playing as well as others' performances of his music, a bibliography, and two indexes.... Sitsky's exhaustive treatment of the piano compositions is unique and will appeal to the larger and more specialized collections.... Highly recommended." -- Choice

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 28, 1998
Format: Hardcover
"Busoni and the piano" is the sort of title a Busoni fan would fall for, especially if he or she is a pianist. So I did. But aside from the hunger of specific Busoni-piano related subjects and details, I found that the author of this book is an interpreter of Busoni's personality, writing as if Busoni had been an old friend or relative of his. I must say that a lot of what Sitsky says is very inspiring, and I am grateful that many words have been spent on Busoni "and" the piano, rather than Busoni "at" the piano or Busoni' work as a transcriber, etc. It is quite obvious that Busoni carries along a hidden, almost esoteric quality and there is also a great deal af collective memory of past artistic treasures and styles in his complex musical style and idiom. Busoni can strike for his classical (in the Greek-Roman sense) redondances as well as for his modernisms, but the all-embracing knowledge that underlies his creative work is something that can certainly make a change in the artistic and aesthetic sensitivities of those that love and understand his music. It appears that Sitsky does understand it in an authoritative manner, conveying also the humanistic nature of the composer. I wish Sitsky had gome more into that mysterious realm of Busoni's aesthetics, I don mean what was written in the well known writings, but rather what was "said", or "stated" in his sound world. Maybe he will, and I will be an enthusiastic admirer of his new work. "Busoni and the Piano" can also serve as a fairly detailed catalogue of Busoni's piano works. Maybe an updated edition of it could present new recordings of Busoni's music, why not? Carlo Grante
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Format: Paperback
While I have played transcriptions of Busoni's Bach pieces, particularly the chorale preludes, I do not know his original compositions. I had supposed him to be a virtuoso pianist who dabbled in arranging and some composing as was fashionable in his day. This book educated me on the greater substance of the man, what he means to his devotees and what his musical aims were when he put pen to paper and fingers to the keyboard. I think this is a wonderful, valuable, and fascinating book for anyone who loves piano music and would like to get to know the true value of Busoni at the piano. We also see the way he struggled with his competing cultural influences between Italy and Germany. We are also reminded of other complications because of the way he was situated in musical history and the changes in music language and theory that happened during his lifetime.

Larry Sitsky has organized the books nineteen chapters into four broad sections with the first chapter, the appendix, catalogue of works, bibliography, index of Busoni's works, and general index coming before and after the four sections. There is a paragraph on the author at the very end of the book. He is obviously a devotee of Busoni, and is himself a pianist, composer, and professor of music.

The four big sections are:

"The Shorter and Unpublished Original Works" - mostly stuff that is justly not published and of interest to Busoni scholars.

"The Major Original Works" these include his six sonatinas, a piano concerto, other works for piano and orchestra, and his complex "Fantasia Contrappuntistica" for two pianos and solo piano (but it is all but unplayable). Busoni's comments in the score about orchestral effects are also discussed.
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Format: Paperback
First published in the late 1970s, Busoni and the Piano has been re-issued in an updated second edition for the twenty-first century. Written by Larry Sitsky, a music teacher, performer, and scholar of Busoni's work, this newly revised second edition of "Busoni and the Piano" explores Busoni's influence upon early 20th century music. Chapters examine individual works of Busoni in depth, excerpting scores as needed to illustrate points; compare Busoni to other great composers such as Bach, Liszt, and Mozart; and scrutinize Busoni's view of aesthetics, including his theory of notation for the piano. A thoughtful and scholarly text highly recommended for serious scholars of the piano.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful starting point to study Busoni's music. I feel that who read the book will buy a lot of scores to verify the thesis proposed by Sitsky. A wonderful book, specially for pro - pianists
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