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Busoni: Fantasia contrappuntistica K 256, etc / Hamish Milne

Album Summary

>Busoni, Ferruccio : Fantasy & Fugue on the Chorale "Ad nos, ad salutarem undam," for piano (after Meyerbeer/Lizst S. 259
>Busoni, Ferruccio : Andantino from the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no 9 in E flat, transcripttion for piano (after
>Busoni, Ferruccio : Fantasia contrappuntistica (I), for piano ("Edizione definitiva"), KiV 256
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Busoni was not only one of the greatest pianists of his age but also a composer and theorist of daunting intellect. His arrangement of the Fantasy and Fugue on the Chorale Ad nos, ad salutarem undam by Liszt is one of his most stunning works. In comparison, the Mozart transcription is a much more modest (though perfectly realized) effort which provides much needed repose before the onslaught of Busoni's pianistic magnum opus, the Fantasia contrappuntistica. This work has at its heart a realization of the incomplete final fugue from Bach's Art of Fugue seen in terms of twentieth-century harmony. In this work, Busoni hoped to create one of the most significant works of modern piano literature.

'This daunting and inspired coupling is played by Hamish Milne with an uplifting musical authority. Indeed, aided by Hyperion's superb sound, Milne even surpasses his earlier L'Oiseau Lyre recording of the Liszt/Busoni Fantasy ... [ Fantasia contrappuntistica] Milne's performance is of an unfaltering beauty and lucidity' (Gramophone)

[Fantasy] 'It takes a conductor's vision for the 'whole' to stand back from the work, and I invite those unfamiliar with its more inscrutable corners to immerse themselves in Milne's sincere and entirely intelligible account ... [Liszt] Milne handles the work with courage and sensitivity, drawing much of substance from the long-breathed melodies while allowing the work's cathedral-like charisma to rise up, too ... The customary glow and clarity to the Hyperion sound, allied with performances of weight and integrity, makes this an indispensable disc for Busoni lovers' (International Record Review)

'Milne, who through his studies with Guido Agosti is a 'grand-pupil' of Busoni himself, tackles this repertoire with a full appreciation of the Classicism that lies behing its Romantic surface, and is especially effective at clarifying the fugal layers in the Fantasia and the Liszt' (Daily Telegraph)

'Hamish Milne, of course, is no stranger to mammoth-sized pianism. He channels his big, colorful sonority toward line rather than mass, and balances the music's thick textures as if they were varied organ registrations... Milne emphasizes clarity through and through. He takes special care to articulate short, detached phrasings differently from longer legato lines and manages to evoke a wide tonal spectrum with little help from the sustain pedal' (Audiophile Audition, USA)

'Arrangements of Liszt and a slow movement from a Mozart Piano Concerto are joined by his mammoth Fantasia Contrappentistica, the 32 minutes of which are dispatched with immense panache by Hamish Milne' (Liverpool Daily Post)



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Works Details

>Busoni, Ferruccio : Fantasy & Fugue on the Chorale "Ad nos, ad salutarem undam," for piano (after Meyerbeer/Lizst S. 259
  • Performer: Hamish Milne (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (10/10/2007-10/12/2007)
  • Running Time: 29 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1897

>Busoni, Ferruccio : Andantino from the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no 9 in E flat, transcripttion for piano (after
  • Performer: Hamish Milne (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (10/10/2007-10/12/2007)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1913

>Busoni, Ferruccio : Fantasia contrappuntistica (I), for piano ("Edizione definitiva"), KiV 256
  • Performer: Hamish Milne (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (10/10/2007-10/12/2007)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 06/1910