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The essence of Busoni’s music lies in a synthesis of his Italian and German ancestry: emotion and intellect, the imaginative and the rigorous. Busoni left a sizable body of orchestral music along with four operas (the last, Doktor Faust, being his magnum opus and left unfinished at his death), but piano music forms the largest part of his output. Bach was a pervasive presence from the outset, both in the contrapuntal aspect of his music and in his repertoire as a performer; this process of assimilation culminated with the Bach-Busoni Edition published in 1918.

BUSONI, F.: Piano Music, Vol. 9 - Una festa di villaggio / Racconti fantastici / Danze antiche / Suite campestre
Ferruccio BUSONI (1866–1924)
Piano Music, Vol. 9

Wolf Harden, Piano

All the works in this disc were composed when Busoni was between the ages of eleven and fifteen. Full of charm and wit, they reveal his precocious absorption of earlier models – principally Bach, Mozart, Weber and Schumann – as well as exceptional technical finesse. Una festa di villaggio charts the day’s events of a village festival whilst Suite campestre, one of his most distinctive early compositions, possesses moments of inwardness that presage the mature works to come.

Listen to an extract from Racconti fantastici, Op. 12:
No. 1. Duello

About the Artist
Wolf Harden
Wolf Harden is a highly versatile pianist who has enjoyed great success with his Trio Fontenay, the ensemble he founded in 1980 and with which he has toured to many of the world’s major music centres. He devotes himself not only to chamber music but also to solo piano repertoire. His concert tours have taken him to South America and India as well as to countries throughout Europe, and his special affinity with unusual repertoire is attested by numerous recordings. He was the first to record a complete version of Hans Pfitzner’s Piano Concerto and has recorded piano music by Ernö Dohnányi, Franz Lehár and Ferruccio Busoni.
Previous recordings in the Busoni Piano Edition
“There's no doubt that Harden has the technique and temperament for this repertoire, and I look forward to more.”

“Wolf Harden is a stupendous pianist who can deliver what Busoni demands and then some ... Music-making like this does not require detailed commentary. Suffice it to say that
Mr Harden's playing is stunningly authoritative.”
American Record Guide

“Congratulations to Naxos for foregrounding the music of Busoni, a composer often thought of as 'difficult' and hard to approach ... A fascinating disc, with a value-for-money playing time.”
MusicWeb International
“… the Naxos Busoni series continues here in enduringly fascinating fashion.”
MusicWeb International
  Listen to an extract from
“Wolf Harden’s Busoni cycle reaches a high point with Volume 5 …
Strongly recommended”
  Listen to an extract from
6 Pieces Op. 33b:
No. 2 Frohsinn (Gaiety): Tempo di Valse, elegante e vivace
“Any pianist who takes on the challenge of Busoni’s piano music in an extended series has got to have a technique of impressive proportions. Harden, best known as the founder of the Trio Fontenay, certainly fills the bill.”
American Record Guide
“Wolf Harden’s clean, refined, and fully committed pianism makes the best case for these early works on disc, along with Naxos’ fine engineering and Richard Whitehouse’s accurate, perceptive booklet annotations.”

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