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Ferruccio Busoni

Ferruccio Busoni (1 April 1866 – 27 July 1924) was an Italian composer, pianist, conductor, editor, writer, and teacher. His international career and reputation led him to work closely with many of the leading musicians, artists and literary figures of his time, and he was a sought-after keyboard instructor and a teacher of composition.

From an early age, Busoni was an outstanding if sometimes controversial pianist. He studied at the Vienna Conservatory and then with Wilhelm Mayer and Carl Reinecke. After brief periods teaching in Helsinki, Boston, and Moscow, he devoted himself to composing, teaching, and touring as a virtuoso pianist in Europe and the United States. His writings on music were influential, and covered not only aesthetics but considerations of microtones and other innovative topics. He was based in Berlin from 1894 but spent much of World War I in Switzerland.

He began composing in his early years in a late romantic style, but after 1907, when he published his Sketch of a New Esthetic of Music, he developed a more individual style, often with elements of atonality. His visits to America led to interest in North American indigenous tribal melodies which were reflected in some of his works. His compositions include works for piano, among them a monumental Piano Concerto, and transcriptions of the works of others, notably Johann Sebastian Bach (published as the Bach-Busoni Editions). He also wrote chamber music, vocal and orchestral works, and operas—one of which, Doktor Faust, he left unfinished when he died, in Berlin, at the age of 58.

Birth and Death Data: Born April 1st, 1866 (Empoli), Died July 27th, 1924 (Berlin)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1922 - 1938

Roles Represented in DAHR: arranger, piano

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-39339 10-in. 9/28/1927 Ecossaises Myrtle C. Eaver Piano solo arranger  
Victor BVE-58689 10-in. 3/4/1930 Paganini etude in E flat major Vladimir Horowitz Piano solo arranger  
Victor CS-023628 12-in. 6/24/1938 Chaconne Johanna Harris Piano solo arranger  
Victor CS-023628 12-in. 6/24/1938 Chaconne Johanna Harris Piano solo arranger  
Victor CS-023628 12-in. 6/24/1938 Chaconne Johanna Harris Piano solo arranger  
Victor CS-023628 12-in. 6/24/1938 Chaconne Johanna Harris Piano solo arranger  
Columbia W148453 10-in. 4/18/1929 Organ choral prelude (Ich rufe zu dir) Gunnar Johansen Piano solo arranger  
Columbia W98743 12-in. 10/13/1931 Toccata and fugue in D minor for organ (1st half) Percy Grainger Piano solo arranger  
Columbia W98744 12-in. 10/13/1931 Toccata and fugue in D minor for organ (Completion) Percy Grainger Piano solo arranger  
Columbia 76699 12-in. 2/27/1922 Prelude, no. 1 Ferruccio Busoni Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 76709 12-in. 2/27/1922 Etude in e minor Ferruccio Busoni Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Busoni, Ferruccio," accessed July 30, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102577.

Busoni, Ferruccio. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 30, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102577.

"Busoni, Ferruccio." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 30 July 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102577

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