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Piano Music 4


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Audio CD, August 26, 2008
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Product Details

  • Performer: Harden
  • Composer: Busoni
  • Audio CD (August 26, 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B001BLR7EO
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #481,913 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Praeludium & Fuge, transcription for piano in D major (after J. S. Bach, BWV 532), KiV B20: Prelude: Moderato - Alla breve - Adagio
2. Praeludium & Fuge, transcription for piano in D major (after J. S. Bach, BWV 532), KiV B20: Fugue: Allegro moderato
3. Elegien, suite of elegies (6) for piano, KiV 249: No. 1. Nach der Wendung
4. Elegien, suite of elegies (6) for piano, KiV 249: No. 2. All'Italia!
5. Elegien, suite of elegies (6) for piano, KiV 249: No. 3. Meine Seele bangt und hofft zu Dir
6. Elegien, suite of elegies (6) for piano, KiV 249: No. 4. Turandots Frauengemach
7. Elegien, suite of elegies (6) for piano, KiV 249: No. 6. Erscheinung
8. Berceuse, for piano (Elegies No. 7), KiV 252
9. Fantasia nach J. S. Bach, for piano, KiV 253
10. Toccata: Preludio, Fantasia, Ciaccona, for piano, KiV 287

Editorial Reviews

Performance occupied much of Busoni' attention until the turn of the twentieth century, when composition began to assume a new importance in his career. Busoni regarded his Elegien as the point where he discovered his true identity as a composer. Even

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 23, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I heard but did not review the previous releases in this series of performances of piano works by Busoni played by the German pianist Wolf Harden, largely because I did not find them particularly worthy. This issue, the fourth in the series, includes one of Busoni's reworkings of a piece by Bach (the Prelude and Fugue in D, BWV 532, for organ), Busoni's own Seven Elegies; Fantasia after J.S. Bach; and the Toccata (Preludio - Fantasia - Ciaccona).

The transcription of the Prelude and Fugue is not one of Busoni's greatest efforts along that line and Harden's performance of it does little to increase one's appreciation, largely because it is almost leaden. One is surprised that the piano version of the Fugue is more leaden that when one hears it on the organ, which is, after all, an instrument less capable of nuance; one would have expected the opposite impression. Most of Busoni's Elegies have often struck me as gray and uninviting, with the exception of the lovely 'All'Italia!', which is lyrical and beautifully harmonized. And I always have to chuckle whenever I hear 'Turandots Frauengemach', in either its piano or orchestral version, because Busoni mistakenly thought the tune we all recognize as 'Greensleeves' was a Chinese melody. Harden's playing does little to advocate for these pieces. The thick chords plod in his hands.

Harden's way with the Bach Fantasia is muddy and earthbound. The pianist has plenty of skill and yet the piece never quite takes flight, although there are passages that call for brilliance and lightness.

The most successful performance here is of the Toccata, K. 287, with its three contrasting sections. But even here Harden's touch is a bit heavy and sometimes it even feels effortful.
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