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Topic Options
#1988093 - 11/18/12 09:50 AM Busoni Piano concerto
im@me Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/21/12
Posts: 68
Why is this wonderful piano concerto hardly ever played?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohPzurDZzZ4&feature=related

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#1988171 - 11/18/12 01:25 PM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: im@me]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21810
Loc: Oakland
Because it is expensive to stage, and not that many people like it.
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#1988277 - 11/18/12 07:29 PM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: im@me]
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3916
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Its degree of difficulty for the performer (Garrick Ohlsson: "The Busoni? That piece nearly destroyed me!") might be another factor.
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There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#1988280 - 11/18/12 07:54 PM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: im@me]
fledgehog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 273
Loc: West Hartford, CT
It's HUGE (how many other piano concerti do you know that require a chorus?), long, not very accessible (how often do you get a theme from the Busoni concerto stuck in your head?), and makes technical demands that only a handful of pianists can manage.


Edited by fledgehog (11/18/12 07:56 PM)

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#1988291 - 11/18/12 08:33 PM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: im@me]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2151
Loc: Canada
Or because people can't get past the first 5 minutes.
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#1988293 - 11/18/12 08:35 PM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: im@me]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21810
Loc: Oakland
Yes, Tchaikowsky got through those first five minutes in much less time!


Edited by BDB (11/18/12 08:36 PM)
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#1988328 - 11/18/12 10:50 PM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: Kuanpiano]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8925
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
Or because people can't get past the first 5 minutes.

Nasty boy. laugh

The Busoni has always had a reputation for excessive difficulty, but that seems overrated to me. Perhaps it is more a matter of endurance, certainly there isn't anything in particular which puts a Brahms Bb, Rachmaninov 3, or Bartok 2 to shame.

I have loved this music since a lad of 15, and IMO no one but John Ogdon has ever really done this music justice- and I have 8 recordings including the live Mewton-Wood.

Busoni said he could account for EVERY note of that concerto, and indeed there is not a wasted moment, it is as tightly constructed as anything by Mahler, Strauss or Elgar. The problem -if it be so- is that Busoni's themes are not, by themselves, very brief. Busoni needs time (and the opening salvo is as short as it could be) to develop, but we don't see that as a problem with Mahler or Elgar, do we?

Well maybe we do, and perhaps Busoni is setting himself up for comparison with that taught conversation taking place in Beethoven's Bb concerto.
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Jason

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#1988796 - 11/20/12 02:55 AM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: im@me]
redrobin62 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/01/12
Posts: 25
I'm not sure where I read it, but Brother Ferrucio sure had disparaging words to say about two of my favorite musicians, Beethoven and Schubert. Shame. I listen to Busoni as much as I can, but I must admit, his music doesn't stick in my head like Chopin or Tchaikovsky's does. That piano concerto is a long one, though. Doesn't it clock in at something like 70 minutes? Makes you wonder if he wrote for the sake of writing and not for enriching the world with new fortuitous melodies. Just saying.
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#1988802 - 11/20/12 03:17 AM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: im@me]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5363
Loc: Europe
I think that the 70 minutes length can account for some of its unpopularity... And the technical requirements... I mean it's a insanely big work in every account. Not a bad work itself, not at all... But still, one should take into account what's possible, what's difficult and what's impossible!
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#1988843 - 11/20/12 06:59 AM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: im@me]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7975
Originally Posted By: im@me
Why is this wonderful piano concerto hardly ever played?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohPzurDZzZ4&feature=related


Because it is a tedious, mind-numbing slog if you aren't in the mood. And most people, most of the time, aren't in that mood.

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#1988923 - 11/20/12 11:37 AM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: im@me]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
I agree with argerichfan, it's a fantastic piece.

It's not played too often because of "practical" reasons.

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#1989106 - 11/20/12 09:15 PM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: Kuanpiano]
didyougethathing Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 545
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
Or because people can't get past the first 5 minutes.


Heh, that sounds about right for me. The orchestral prelude is beautiful and moving, and the piano entrance is great, but after that I've yet to find anything that I really enjoy. However, I like to give it a listen every so often.

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#1989884 - 11/22/12 06:40 PM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: im@me]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2659
Loc: Netherlands
nice piece, difficult? nonsense, long? nonsense, hard to listen to? nonsense, but, I mean BUT: a chorus, male, bad text, and everyone wants to hear the symphony, concertos are generally supposed to be like the first course, not like the main course.
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Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Ravel miroirs

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#1989906 - 11/22/12 08:36 PM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: dolce sfogato]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8925
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
nice piece, difficult? nonsense, long? nonsense, hard to listen to? nonsense, but, I mean BUT: a chorus, male, bad text, and everyone wants to hear the symphony, concertos are generally supposed to be like the first course, not like the main course.

Well, my friend, hopefully no one is asking you to learn it, you are a busy concert pianist, and very likely doing quite well without the piece in your repertoire! laugh
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#1990117 - 11/23/12 05:49 PM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: im@me]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2659
Loc: Netherlands
just don't know any male chorus to accompany me, bof
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Ravel miroirs

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#1990329 - 11/24/12 01:23 PM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: wr]
jdhampton924 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 1009
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: im@me
Why is this wonderful piano concerto hardly ever played?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohPzurDZzZ4&feature=related


Because it is a tedious, mind-numbing slog if you aren't in the mood. And most people, most of the time, aren't in that mood.



Not tonight, I have a headache :p

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#1990369 - 11/24/12 03:26 PM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: jdhampton924]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: jdhampton924
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: im@me
Why is this wonderful piano concerto hardly ever played?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohPzurDZzZ4&feature=related


Because it is a tedious, mind-numbing slog if you aren't in the mood. And most people, most of the time, aren't in that mood.



Not tonight, I have a headache :p


I find it rather soothing actually.

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#1990484 - 11/24/12 08:38 PM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: Orange Soda King]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8925
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I find it rather soothing actually.

Ignoring the nonsense posts in your quote, I suppose you refer to the opening of the 1st and 3rd movements, then much of the 5th?

But the 2nd movement certainly stirs up my hormones, it did as a teen and continues to do so today!



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Jason

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#1990488 - 11/24/12 08:54 PM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: im@me]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Yes, I'm talking primarily about the odd numbered movements, although the 2nd and 4th are stimulating. There's a climax in the 4th that gets all my blood flowing every time!!

EDIT: How about this 5th movement performance! Sounds much more mystical with the very slow tempo.



Edited by Orange Soda King (11/24/12 09:00 PM)

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#1990490 - 11/24/12 08:56 PM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: Orange Soda King]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8925
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
There's a climax in the 4th that gets all my blood flowing every time!!

And you do know what is happening there? laugh
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#1990503 - 11/24/12 09:35 PM Re: Busoni Piano concerto [Re: im@me]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
I have decided to listen through the concerto in various movements and recordings, and I am only reaffirming my love for it!!! The opening to the first movement is absolutely glorious. smile

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