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Busoni - Piano Music

Ferruccio Dante Michelangelo Benvenuto Busoni (1866-1924) was born in Empoli, near Florence, Italy.
He was taught by his parents, who were both professional musicians, and made a sensational public debut as a pianist at the age of seven. After holding teaching posts in Helsinki, Moscow and Boston, he settled permanently in Berlin at the age of 28, continuing to travel widely as a performer.
Busoni’s important achievements as a composer were long over-shadowed by the fact that he was generally thought the greatest piano virtuoso after Liszt.
He also made his mark as a respected teacher of both piano playing and composition, and as an editor of Bach’s keyboard music. His thoughts on Bach’s music have been highly influential, although his editions weren’t exactly what we today would call authentic. In spite of his interest in baroque and classical music, Busoni was certainly no backward-looking composer. In his writings he proposes the use of microtonal scales and electronics, and in 1912 he produced his first work “without tonality”, the Second Sonatina. Busoni’s major keyboard work, Contrapuntal Fantasy, is based on the final, incomplete fugue from Bach’s Art of Fugue. It was first published in 1910, and later revised several times.
His Piano Concerto is one of the longest ever written, at least seventy minutes in performance, and makes use of a male choir. This preference for writing long and difficult works has not made Busoni a favourite in concert halls, but through his teaching he influenced 20th century music greatly.
Among his pupils were Kurt Weill, Edgard Varèse and Stefan Wolpe; John Cage and Morton Feldman are among the later composers who have acknowledged his importance.

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Total pieces by Busoni: 40

TitleASTKey Composed Type Level
Contrapuntal Fantasy n/a Piece 8+
Fantasy after J. S. Bach F Minor Piece 8+

Transcriptions:
Bach: Chaconne for Violin (BWV 1004) D Minor Transcription 8+
Bach: Prelude & Fugue for Organ (BWV 532) D Major Transcription 8+
Bach: Prelude & Fugue for Organ (BWV 552) E-flat Major Transcription 8+
Bach: Toccata and Fugue for Organ (BWV 565) D Minor Transcription 8+
Bach: Toccata for Organ (BWV 564) C Major Transcription 8+
Bach: Chorale Prelude (BWV 667) No. 1C Major Transcription 8+
Bach: Chorale Prelude (BWV 645) No. 2E-flat Major Transcription 8+
Bach: Chorale Prelude (BWV 659) No. 3G Minor Transcription 8+
Bach: Chorale Prelude (BWV 734a) No. 4G Major Transcription 8+
Bach: Chorale Prelude (BWV 639) No. 5F Minor Transcription 8+
Bach: Chorale Prelude (BWV 617) No. 6A Minor Transcription 8+
Bach: Chorale Prelude A (BWV 637) No. 7A Minor Transcription 8+
Bach: Chorale Prelude B (BWV 705) No. 7D Minor Transcription 8+
Bach: Chorale Prelude (BWV 615) No. 8G Major Transcription 8+
Bach: Chorale Prelude (BWV 665) No. 9E Minor Transcription 8+

Six Pieces:
Schwermut Op. 33 No. 1n/a Piece 8
Frohsinn Op. 33 No. 2D Minor Piece 8
Scherzino Op. 33 No. 3C Major Piece 7
Fantasia in modo antico Op. 33 No. 4B Minor Piece 7
Finnish Ballade Op. 33 No. 5C Minor Piece 7
Exeunt omnes Op. 33 No. 6B Major Piece 7

Elegies:
Nach der Wendung No. 1n/a Piece 8+
All'Italia! (in modo napolitano No. 2n/a Piece 8+
Meine Seele bangt und hofft zu Dir No. 3n/a Piece 8
Turandots Frauengemach No. 4n/a Piece 8+
Die Nächtlichen No. 5n/a Piece 8
Ercheinung No. 6n/a Piece 8+
Berceuse No. 7n/a Piece 8

Indian Diary - Book 1:
Indian Diary No. 1n/a Study 7
Indian Diary No. 2n/a Study 8+
Indian Diary No. 3n/a Study 8+
Indian Diary No. 4n/a Study 8

Sonatinas:
Sonatina No. 1n/a Sonata 8
Sonatina No. 2n/a Sonata 8+
Sonatina No. 3n/a Sonata 7
Sonatina No. 4n/a Sonata 7
Sonatina No. 5n/a Sonata 8
Sonatina - Chamber Fantasy from the Opera Carmen by Bizet No. 6n/a Sonata 8




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