9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Worth the wait...,
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This review is from: Busoni: Late Piano Music [Marc-André Hamelin] [Hyperion: CDA67951/3] (Audio CD)
Marc-André Hamelin never disappoints with his CD releases and this is no exception.
Here he and Hyperion give us a three disc set of the late piano music of Busoni.
This music will be unfamiliar to many people, other perhaps than his Piano Concerto, again recorded by Hamelin and released on the same label.
The piano music has been neglected by many pianists and the only other recordings on my shelves are a six set release of Busoni's music from Geoffrey Douglas Madge, recorded for Philips and released in the 1980s.
I shall not list the complete contents and they can easily be found in Amazon's advertizing. However on CD1 is included seven Elegies, number four of which uses the 'greensleeves' melody.
CD2 includes four Sonatinas.
CD3 has, amongst other works, a wonderful Toccata and enjoyable variations on the Chopin Prelude in C min., op.28 no.20.
It is true that this music requires complete attention and, in some cases, repeated listening to fully appreciate the style of writing. Busoni was uncompromising in his writing and many were and are put off by the heavy modulation of the writing and length of some of the compositions. Yet this music is essentially tonal and will give much pleasure to those prepared to explore a neglected genius.
If you have an opportunity to sample before buying, try track one of the third CD. Here is a blazing Toccata, played here with an amazing virtuosity, showing once again that Mr. Hamelin is in a league of his own.
This pianist is the perfect guide as an introduction to this music which has so much to offer the patient listener and I urge you to try Busoni. You may just find yourself liking him very much ! At around 25 Pounds for the three disc set, this represents a real bargain.