Such was my fascination with his playing of the Bach-Busoni Chaconne that I pestered him many times about his mercurial way of performing it. At best, he. Busoni worked on his transcription of Bach’s Chaconne while living in Boston between and (Alamy Stock Photo). JS Bach’s. Ferruccio Busoni. Chaconne, transcription for piano in D minor (after J. S. Bach, BWV ), KiV B Composition Information ↓; Description ↓; Appears On ↓.

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On a day in Mayhearing the organist of the Leipzig Thomaskirche play Bach ‘s Prelude and Fugue in D, Frau Kathi Petri, mother of the great pianist and future Busoni “disciple,” Egon Petrisuggested to the young Busoni that he arrange it for piano; a week later, and without writing it down, he played it for her.

Chaconne, transcription for piano in D minor (after J. S. Bach, BWV 1004), KiV B24

Thus began the series of Bach-Busoni transcriptions, recensions, editions, and Bach -based compositions which would occupy the composer to the end of his life. Exploring the difficulties and opportunities of accommodating Bach to the heavily strung, more powerfully resonant pianos, equipped with Steinway’s new sostenuto pedal, Busoni fashioned a superhuman technique which would make him perhaps the most titanic pianist after Liszt.

The two make Beethoven possible” — possible, that is, to articulate the grandeurs chaconns Beethoven ‘s “Hammerklavier” Sonata, Op. SchumannMendelssohnRaff, Siloti, and Brahmsamong others, left arrangements of the Chaconne, Brahms ‘ being a useful study for the left hand alone. Busoni ‘s chaconnne was written in Boston induring a brief tenure as professor of piano at the New England Conservatory. Bach opens with an imposing, saraband-like theme which establishes at once a plane of high seriousness, to return in the middle of the piece, and again to round it off at the end — three mighty formal pillars — between which the Chaconne unfolds in some twenty-nine brief yet telling variations whose cumulative effect is a whelming splendor.


Busoni matches their expressive gamut with directions ranging from dolce tranquillo to con fuoco animato as he finds pianistic equivalents for what could only be suggested on the violin.

The chaconne chacnne bass, for instance — sketched by Bach in fleetingly detached tones and double-stops — Busoni makes explicit though not in every variation, and not always in the bassthereby using the work’s own logic to enriching piano texture.

The Gramophone Collection: Busoni’s transcription of Bach’s Chaconne

In a note to his edition of the Well-Tempered Clavier, Busoni explicitly states that he has treated his effects “from the standpoint of organ tone.

Bach ‘s essential linearity, his inexhaustible melodic transformation, is never compromised, but adroitly amplified. Critics and commentators have been concerned by what might be termed the inauthentic nature of transcription practiced by a mere virtuoso, the sneer runs, upon the mighty Bach.

In a thoughtful essay on the art of transcription, Busoni gave a detailed reply. Bach himself, he says, was one of the most prolific arrangers of his own and others’ music.

And he adds that “notation is itself the transcription of an abstract idea. The moment the pen takes possession of it the thought loses its original form. AllMusic relies heavily on JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript in your browser to use the site fully.


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From Intimate to Epic. Bach-Busoni, Chopin, Franck, Schumann. Liszt, Rachmaninov, Busoni – Tributes and Transcriptions. Great Moments at Carnegie Hall. Johann Sebastian Bach, Dinu Lipatti. The Complete Columbia and Electrola solo and concerto recordings, Sachiko Kawamura plays Chaconnne.

Bach to Tan Dun. La Chair et l’Esprit – Earthly and Divine. The Moscow Recital of September 28, Piano Transcriptions [Box Set]. East West Encounter II. Lazar Berman at Carnegie Hall. The Great Pianists, Vol.

Live in Warsaw Live at Carnegie Hall. Ronald Stevenson in Concert. Works for Piano [Box Set]. Grigory Ginzburg, Live Recordings, Vol. Intimate Inspiration, the very best of the Amadeus Guitar Duo. Piano Masterworks of Busoni.

The Art of Alicia de Larrocha. Benedetti Michelangeli plays Bach, Scarlatti, Galuppi. Fazil Say Plays Bach. Great Pianists of the 20th Century: The Complete Edition Box 1. The Rubinstein Collection Limited Edition. Van Cliburn Competition The Grand Piano Era. Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli in Recital. A Long Way From Normal. Chaconne; Busono Waltz; Fantasia; Contrappuntistica. Bach, Busoni and Liszt.

Bach-Busoni Editions – Wikipedia

Arrangement in Dm; Arrangement in D. Chaconne in D minor. Great Composers At The Keyboard: