Busoni: The Late Works

Album cover art for upc 608410873421
Label: Ravello
Catalog: RR8007
Format: COMPACT DISC

Belsky, Svetlana

Music lovers are familiar with Ferruccio Busoni due to his extensive revisions of Johann Sebastian Bach's keyboard works, but the Italian's own compositions have long been reserved for the pleasure of a handful of connoisseurs. Looking at their technical scope, it is not difficult to see why: Busoni, a true-blue composer in the original sense of the word, possesses an original, eclectic style that is difficult to categorize. Pianist-performer Svetlana Belsky, who first discovered her love for the musical creator during her doctoral studies, thus insightfully avoids any attempt at stylistic classification, but rather interprets each and every piece with great respect to the particular work's inherent nature. Since Busoni's pieces, individually taken, run the whole gamut from a late-Romantic, occasionally even classical aesthetic to borderline atonality, one would expect a coherent interpretation to be a truly fearful challenge. But this is where the magic sets in: Marrying awe-inducing technical capabilities to an artistic intuition of mind-boggling depth, Belsky manages to enter the inner sanctum of Busoni's creative thought, no matter the style, with miraculous panache. The pianist effortlessly captures the soul of the piece, regardless of whether the composer furiously tears down form and tonality in Sonatina Seconda, whether he reminisces in Chopin's lyricism in his Nine Variations, or whether he allows himself a rather off-color compositional remark by citing "Greensleeves" in Turandots Frauengemach. Belsky makes all these eccentricities sound perfectly plausible, imperative even; and she may well be the first pianist to accomplish this feat. Ferruccio Busoni: The Late Works, therefore, marks a new high point in the performance of the often- misunderstood composer; and Svetlana Belsky's innate understanding of her kindred spirit may well inspire a historic turning point in the public perception of Busoni's oeuvre.

Price: $17.99