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Woo Soo Kang
American Record Guide, July 2013

Busoni’s 24 Preludes…are varied and engaging…

With the versatility befitting these pieces, Harden appropriately brings out each piece’s character, whether intimate or declamatory, with an admirable level of control.

The Macchiette Medioevali…is a charming set of character pieces evocative of Schumann. Harden performs these with elegance and clarity.

…this recording is enjoyable enough to encourage us to check out the other volumes. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Colin Clarke
MusicWeb International, May 2013

It is medievalism that informs the Macchiette medioevali, a set of six brief sketches of character types: Lady, Knight, Page, Warrior, Astrologer, Troubadour. Each and every portrait is absolutely captivating…There are superb spread chords from Harden…A delightful discovery.

In short, a fascinating disc and a vital part of this unfolding series from Naxos. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Jed Distler, April 2013

Evidently the teenaged Busoni already was rewriting other people’s music in his own image with variable success. 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. © 2013 Read complete review

John Terauds
Musical Toronto, March 2013

Harden has the technical wherewithal as well as a rare combination of power and elegance to make the most out of the dramatic and virtuosic demands of this child prodigy.

There is a lot of fine listening here for anyone who loves miniatures. They’re worth a taste. © 2013 Musical Toronto Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2013

We have arrived at the eighth volume of Naxos’s recording of the complete piano music of the Italian-born virtuoso pianist and composer, Ferruccio Busoni. Born near Florence in 1866, he made his concert debut at the age of eight, before moving to study in Germany where he spent most of the remaining years of his life. As a composer he was already in his thirties before he began serious work in that field, though he had written a large number of scores in his teenage years. From that early period came the 24 Preludes completed when he was fifteen and given the opus number 37. That he had obviously been inspired to compose such a work followed on from his acquaintance with Chopin’s score of the same name, and though it is in no way derivative, it has the academic rectitude of passing through all of the twenty-four key signatures. Shaped in contrasted tempo indications, it displays his knowledge of the various musical forms from a sombre Funeral March to a big and bold Fugue. It is a demanding score, though the German-born pianist, Wolf Harden, casts aside technical hurdles, the clarity of his fingers bringing a joy and sparkle to the fast preludes.The Macchiette medioevali, which was completed two years later, pictures six medieval characters, and has the feel of being intended for a young audience. The result is a gorgeous sound, and a fervently recommended release. © 2013 David’s Review Corner

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