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  • Busoni: Music for Two Pianos: Fantasia Contrappuntistica & Transcriptions
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Busoni: Music for Two Pianos: Fantasia Contrappuntistica & Transcriptions


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Audio CD, December 13, 2005
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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 Title Time Price
listen  1. Fantasia contrappuntistica: Fantasia Contrappuntistica27:51Album Only
listen  2. Improvisation uber Bachs Chorallied Wie wohl ist mir: Improvisation on the Bach Chorale Wie wohl ist mir, o Freund der Seele (BWV 517)14:42Album Only
listen  3. Fantasy in F minor, K. 608: Fantasy for a Barrel-Organ (Fantasie fur eine Orgelwalze), K. 608 8:13Album Only
listen  4. Duettino concertante nach dem Finale von Mozarts Klavierkonzert K. 459: Duettino Concertante after the Finale of Mozart's Piano Concerto (K. 459) 7:14$0.89  Buy MP3 


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Busoni: Music for Two Pianos: Fantasia Contrappuntistica & Transcriptions + Piano Music 3 + Piano Music 2
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Product Details

  • Performer: Allan Schiller, John Humphreys
  • Composer: Ferruccio Busoni
  • Audio CD (December 13, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B000BRJXZK
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,296 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD
To the extent that piano music by Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924) is known to the average music-lover, it is in the form of the fairly straightforward hyphenated piano arrangements of the music of other composers, e.g. Bach-Busoni. But he wrote a lot of original music and some of it was for two pianos. Here we have four such works, including the two-piano version of his pianistic masterpiece, the highly original and fascinating half-hour-long Fantasia Contrappuntistica. I had never heard this version before - I'm very familiar with the one-piano version - and must say that from its initial peremptory dotted-figure opening through to the end of the final stretta it commands the listener's attention. Part of the work is a set of variations based on Bach's chorale 'Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Ehr.' Typical of Busoni, he couldn't leave the original one-piano version alone -- it went through several versions and finally was arranged as here for two pianos, and then, thinking to make it the final movement of a gigantic two-piano sonata, he added three further movements, also heard here. Each of these pieces can be played as a stand-alone work, but the cumulative power of hearing the four pieces in succession is pretty impressive. On this CD, however, the Fantasia Contrappuntistica is Track 1, so if you want to hear the putative 'sonata' as Busoni considered presenting it, you must program your CD player to play tracks in the following order: 2 3 4 1.

Track 2 contains the so-called 'Improvisation on the Bach Chorale "Wie wohl ist mir, o Freund der Seele"', which in its original form had been part of a violin sonata. (See how complicated Busoni's oeuvre can get because of his penchant for changing his mind about the form various works should take?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tunstall on April 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I agree with Scott Morrison - this must be one of the most gripping (and natural sounding)performances of this repertoire on disc. Although a 'studio' recording the playing sounds 'alive' and physical in a way that studio performances often do not. The pianists are suberbly matched and the stereo separation of the two Steinways is a credit to the production team.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Hexameron on July 22, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Naxos' thorough survey of Ferruccio Busoni's (1866-1924) solo piano music (Busoni: Piano Music, Vol. 1) has so far reached three volumes. I hold all of them in high esteem and I believe Naxos showcases a remarkable champion of Busoni with the pianist Wolf Harden. In addition to the on-going solo piano music series, Naxos has also released two issues of Busoni's chamber music; very rare and exquisite stuff: Busoni: Complete Works for Cello and Piano and Busoni: Violin Sonatas; Four Bagatelles. It's not surprising, then, that Naxos has seen fit to promulgate Busoni's original works for Two Pianos.

Those new to Busoni may want to explore Naxos' solo piano music volumes first. I wouldn't call this specific recording supplementary, but I appreciated it far more after examining Busoni's solo piano music. Most will agree that the "Fantasia Contrappuntistica" is Busoni's most soaring and striking composition. Based on an unfinished fugue subject from Bach's "Art of Fugue" and the chorale, "Allein Gott in der Hoeh sei Ehr," Busoni creates a dizzying, magnificent and totally arresting behemoth of music. I am acquainted with John Ogdon's and Wolf Harden's interpretations, and although I cannot say Schiller and Humphreys surpass them in any respects, this two-piano performance still amplifies the expression behind Busoni's cerebral ideas. Busoni thought his Fantasia was "a disproportionate task for ten fingers, whereas divided between twenty it would be easy and transparent for player and listener alike.
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