Busoni: Eight Character Pieces for Clarinet & Piano; Suite for Clarinet & String Quartet; Clarinet Sonata in D

Composer(s):
Busoni
Works:
Eight Character Pieces for Clarinet & Piano; Suite for Clarinet & String Quartet; Clarinet Sonata in D
Performer:
Dieter Klöcker (clarinet), Werner Genuit (piano); Consortium Classicum
Label:
CPO
Catalogue Number:
999 252-2
Performance:
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Sound:
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Reviewer:
BBC Music Magazine
Anyone interested in discovering the work of Ferruccio Busoni would find this disc ideal. The repertoire on it spans almost the whole of his composing career – from the age of 14 to over forty years later. Busoni, whose father was an Italian clarinet virtuoso and whose mother was an Austrian pianist of Jewish background, shows a wide range of influences, but while the earlier pieces combine an almost Brahmsian Romantic style (with Jewish, Slavic and Italian inflections), the late works have a highly individual voice. The most attractive pieces are those for clarinet and string quartet, and these include short transcriptions of works by three other composers (Spohr, Ernst and Schumann). However, the composer’s real personality is best revealed in the Elegie of 1921. Dieter Klöcker plays impressively and clearly brings out some of the Jewish and other folk music aspects of the music. Yet he is often rather inflexible and misses much of the Romantic warmth – especially in the slower movements. Tim Payne