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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Ferruccio Busoni - Orchestral Works Vol. 2 (Neeme Järvi)


Composer: Ferruccio Busoni
  1. Lustspiel-Overture, Op. 38
  2. Indianische Fantasie, for Piano & Orchestra, Op. 44
  3. Gesang vom Reigen der Geister, Op. 47 (Indianisches Tagebuch, Book II) (Elegie No. 4)
  4. Die Brautwahl, Op. 45: I. Spukhaftes Stück
  5. Die Brautwahl, Op. 45: II. Lyrisches Stück
  6. Die Brautwahl, Op. 45: III. Mystisches Stück
  7. Die Brautwahl, Op. 45: IV. Hebräisches Stück
  8. Die Brautwahl, Op. 45: V. Heiteres Stück

Nelson Goerner, piano (2)
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Neeme Järvi, conductor

Date: 2004
Label: Chandos
https://www.chandos.net/products/catalogue/CHAN 10302



Järvi continues to champion Busoni’s orchestral works with another fine set

Neeme Järvi has sometimes been accused of purveying an all-purpose style with rather hasty tempi, but that kind of integrationist approach works wonders with Busoni – a composer defined by his dualities, but one who also foundered on them.

It’s telling that Busoni created so many ‘suites’ when writing for the orchestra – believing so much in series and juxtaposition that he adapted operas from orchestral suites rather than the other way around. Jean-François Antonioli gave us an episodic Brautwahl-Suite polarising Busoni’s spookiness, lyricism, mysticism, Hebraicism and then happiness by extremes of tempo and phrasing. Järvi streamlines the same sequence, dispatching each number more quickly and making the music more coherent and concen- trated, worth much more than mere curiosity value. Prompt but never rushed, Järvi’s performances smack of the concert hall rather than the musical sideshow or tourist kiosk.

That’s not to say Järvi doesn’t have his own brilliant, sui generis moments: he achieves real lift-off in the Lustspiel-Ouvertüre, Busoni’s intriguing if uncharacteristic try at a conventional curtain-raiser. By comparison, Arturo Tamayo and the Berlin RSO have a good deal less Lust in their Spiel.

Järvi’s performances on his two Busoni collections – the first was welcomed by Michael Oliver (7/02) – are the most consistently sympathetic I’ve heard in some years, and they’re sure – not least because of the series’ comprehensiveness – to enhance Busoni’s reputation as an orchestral composer. I can’t wait for the third disc in this survey.

-- Arved Ashby, Gramophone

More reviews:
BBC Music Magazine  PERFORMANCE: **** / SOUND: ****


Ferruccio Busoni (1 April 1866 – 27 July 1924) was an Italian composer, pianist, conductor, editor, writer, and piano teacher. Busoni was an outstanding (if sometimes controversial) pianist from an early age. He began composing in his early years in a late romantic style, and later developed a more individual style, often with elements of atonality. Busoni's impact on music was perhaps more through those who studied piano and composition with him, and through his writings on music, than through his compositions themselves, of whose style there are no direct successors.


Neeme Järvi (born June 7, 1937 in Tallinn) is an Estonian conductor. He studied at the Leningrad Conservatory under Yevgeny Mravinsky and Nikolai Rabinovich, among others. He made over 400 recordings for labels such as BIS, Chandos and Deutsche Grammophon and best known for his interpretations of Romantic and 20th century classical music. In 1982, he became the principal conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony, and held the post for 22 years, the longest-serving principal conductor in the orchestra's history.


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