Some private Busoni for the weekend

Some private Busoni for the weekend


norman lebrecht

June 24, 2018

Private recording, August 11, 1951. Petri was asked by a student to play this work – which he hadn’t performed in public for many years – and he recorded it! This was published on PEARL 9916 – (now out of print).


  • Barry Guerrero says:

    I’m not a huge Busoni buff, but that Pearl disc with Petri is incredible. Daniell Revenaugh still resides in Berkeley, Ca. He was a student of Petri at Mills College (he also took classes from Darius Milhaud). In addition, he’s the conductor on the world premiere recording of the piano concerto with John Ogdon and the Royal Phil. on EMI (many feel that it’s still the best account of the concerto). Just a decade ago, Revenaugh made a recording of the complete Busoni two-piano music with Lawrence Leighton Smith for EMI.

    Another great Busoni cd is the unfinished “Doktor Faust” that Adrian Boult made with Fischer-Dieskau. It’s on the LPO’s house label. While it’s not complete, it’s still fantastic.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    . . . and partly because of the Mahler connection, my favorite work by Busoni is the “Berceause Elegiaque”. Here’s Toscanini:

    Here’s one in the interesting (clearer?) John Adams arrangement:

    • RW2013 says:

      WhyTF should Adams tinker with the already perfect “Berceause Elegiaque” (sic)?

      • Barry Guerrero says:

        Good question. It does seem reduced or more ‘chamber-ish’. Perhaps due to the smaller dynamic range, the soft tam-tam stroke at the very end of the work seems to register more clearly than usual (certainly wouldn’t be a problem when you’re at the concert hall). It’s ironic that one of the last sounds Mahler would have ever heard in concert, would have been that single tam-tam stroke (reminiscent of “der Abschied” from DLvdE).

  • Solong Pirouette says:

    This sounds excellent – Egon Petri, the “forgotten pianist”.

    By the way, why does an aggressive blue popup page with a demand for advertising acceptance now appear on every new access to, even on moving from one post to another after having “accepted”?

    There is no provision for rejection of the multiple tracking. If you do not accept all trackers, the blue page just re-appears. The switches for the individual “purposes” are pure placebo.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Brilliant playing – but: the fast figuration at the very beginning and the repetition of this type later in the piece, is played much too fast and in the ususal pianistic virtuoso style, while these ‘runs’ are melodic and expressive. Just ‘running’ over them is superficial showing-off.