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Busoni: concerto for piano, male chorus and orchestra Op. 39; Fantasia Contrappuntistica Box set

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 April 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Wea Corp
  • ASIN: B00000E8TF
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 581,501 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Busoni's Piano Concerto must be unique in the repertory. It plays for 90 minutes, a Mahlerian effort in five basically conventional movements, ending with a chorus which carries more than a genuflection in the direction of Alles Vergaengliche. It's often gratifyingly original, but also has pages that are surprisingly conventional. The catalogue has half a dozen versions, which suggests that it is better than a mere oddity, but you don't often see it performed which is perhaps down to its marathon scale.
More consistently fascinating is the Fantasia Contrapuntistica, an updating of Bach's great Art of the Fugue to include the four-themes-in-counterpoint that Bach never lived to finish. Busoni wrestled with this for decades, authorising at least four versions. Postnikova opts to play one of the longer ones, including three "variations" - her version runs for 43 minutes compared with the Wolf Harden option which plays for half an hour. Like the Concerto, it's a little longer than one might want but Postnikova does a distinguished job of holding it together. I definitely find it all repays repeated listening.
I have a more modern version of exactly this recording which you may prefer to seek out if you can't find this one at an acceptable price.
Warmly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x98799fe4) out of 5 stars 1 review
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95d5660c) out of 5 stars Brooding Busoni 18 Feb. 2006
By Lloyd Paguia Arriola - Published on Amazon.com
If one would expect Viktoria Postnikova to do the usual, the drab, the expected, one would be wrong. This fine pianist has all the hallmarks of an individual pianist--idiosyncratic and wilful at times, she nonetheless possesses a powerful, rich touch. And so it is with this excellent recording of the Busoni Piano Concerto, one of my favorite versions, aided and abetted ably by her brilliant husband Gennadi Rozhdestvensky. All five movements are played markedly slower than in other versions of this highly unusual piano concerto, and yet the somewhat dreamy pace is well-sustained by these performers. The filler on the two cds, Busoni's Fantasia Contrappuntistica, is also by some way the slowest version of the piece I have heard. This should not be a worry for Busoni lovers--the piece can seem gabbled and confused at faster tempi. And yet at these slower tempi, Postnikova brings out many details and layers in the work. (By the way, she has technique to burn, and can play fast! Listen to the fourth movement of the piano concerto.)

Sound is a bit distant and dull. But the performances are not.
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