Bach/Busoni 'Chaconne in D Minor'

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Belle
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Bach/Busoni 'Chaconne in D Minor'

Post by Belle » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:49 pm

This phenomenal transcription is absolutely fundamental to my musical existence. I've just found this performance by Kissin. It's very different to the Demidenko which I have had for a while. At first I thought it was a little detached and too fast but now it's really grown on me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fu-9frVpssg

There are sections where the bar line seems to intrude, which is what Kleiber talked about with Brahms. And the "ossia" passages in this score; I wasn't sure what the 'difference' or 'advantage' might be with one over the other; any keyboard experts?

John F
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Re: Bach/Busoni 'Chaconne in D Minor'

Post by John F » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:41 am

For me, the nonpareil recording is by Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, made in 1948. Here it is:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6-v-ZtCAFw

For me, Kissin's recording is rather lacking in energy, too ready to slow down and with too frequent rubato. After all, this is BACH/Busoni. Michelangeli keeps the two B's in balance better than I've heard from other pianists, he provides more variety of color, and as always with this pianist, his control is magisterial.

Michelangeli was notorious for canceling recitals and recording sessions, often for no good reason. He canceled a London recital because, he claimed, he couldn't find an adequate piano in that city. EMI signed him and Carlos Kleiber to record Beethoven's Emperor Concerto, and when we heard about that, we speculated which of them would walk out first. It was Michelangeli.
John Francis

Belle
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Re: Bach/Busoni 'Chaconne in D Minor'

Post by Belle » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:59 pm

Having just listened to the Michelangeli "Chaconne" I can see what you mean. However, the younger generation is also capable of thrilling and sublime performances. I don't think Kissin's version "lacks energy". As I said, it grew on me with repeated hearings.

I'd read that anecdote about Arturo cancelling his recording with Carlos - something the conductor regretted for years. Kleiber did record with Richter - the Dvorak Piano Concerto - and the two adored each other!!

And this is PHENOMENAL from ABM - mit occasional rubato. Where did that last chord come from??!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FiZc7kbrWw

(Somebody, please tell me how to embed U-Tube without all that additional fluff!)

jserraglio
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Re: Bach/Busoni 'Chaconne in D Minor'

Post by jserraglio » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:21 pm

Belle wrote:
Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:59 pm
Somebody, please tell me how to embed U-Tube without all that additional fluff!
1. Find the YT url you wish to embed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FiZc7kbrWw

2. Copy-Paste into CMG message window all characters to right of "=" sign in that url ---> 3FiZc7kbrWw

3. Drag over to select those characters ---> 3FiZc7kbrWw

4. Click the "youtube" button in the formatting bar above message window and you should see "youtube" in square brackets on both sides of the selection

5. Click "Submit" and you should see the embedded video.

Belle
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Re: Bach/Busoni 'Chaconne in D Minor'

Post by Belle » Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:47 pm

Thanks very much. I tried several times and it didn't work.

This is a very fine account of the Bach/Busoni:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORDjdNcv70o

Ricordanza
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Re: Bach/Busoni 'Chaconne in D Minor'

Post by Ricordanza » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:22 am

Belle wrote:
Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:47 pm
This is a very fine account of the Bach/Busoni:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORDjdNcv70o
I agree. Indeed, my first exposure to this masterpiece was at a recital by de Larrocha at Hunter College in New York City in 1971.

Lance
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Re: Bach/Busoni 'Chaconne in D Minor'

Post by Lance » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:52 pm

Ah, one of my favourite pieces for piano. I recall as a boy seeing a black & white movie that portrayed JUST the hand (no body!) playing this on a grand piano. It made an indelible impression. (Why do I think the movie was called The Hand, and maybe it was.) But when one looks at the plethora of recordings of the piece, we have our pick of some wonderful performances of this work, mostly in the Busoni transcription.

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, of course [in several performances]
Jorge Bolet
Leon Fleisher
Murray Perahia
Alicia de Larrocha
Benjamin Grosvenor
Helene Grimaud
Anatol Ugorski
Rudolf Serkin
Artur Rubinstein
Evgeny Kissin
John Ogdon
Imreh Gabriela
Alexander Zolotarev
Pietro Spada
Valerie Tryon
Dmitry Paperno
Christopher O'Riley
Shura Cherkassky
C. Schomshein
Joao Carlos Martins
Valeri Kuleshov
Susan Chan
Wolf Harden
Ronald Smith
Tatiana Nikolayeva
Yakov Flier
Setrak Setrakian
Fazil Say
Vera Gornostaeva
Grigori Ginsburg

And ... probably a few others. Sick to have so many? Obviously, but I love them!
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Belle
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Re: Bach/Busoni 'Chaconne in D Minor'

Post by Belle » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:37 am

I emailed the Kissin and Michelangeli performances of the 'Chaconne' to a a friend from our music group. She's something of a musical neophyte and in her reply, which I just received, she says she enjoyed the piece and thought it was 'fantastic' playing. What struck me was the difficulty she seemed to experience in writing down her exact ideas about it; this is a familiar phenomenon in our music group. They look to some of us to provide them with a vocabulary to explain and express their own responses to music.

It occurs to me that many people feel locked out of art music because they feel they lack the sophistication to DISCUSS their responses to it, where we seem to take that for granted ourselves. This is something I had never considered until quite recently.

John F
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Re: Bach/Busoni 'Chaconne in D Minor'

Post by John F » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:42 am

I don't think it's sophistication they lack but basic vocabulary, as you suggest. Music is hard to write about for lay readers, most of what they read is reviews in the newspapers which seldom provide what they need. And many of my friends who love classical music, including quite a few at least as old as I am who've been listening all their lives, don't want to discuss it - they just say whether they liked what they heard and saw. (Cf. our own lennygoran.) That's fine with me, what counts is that they listen to it and love it. As for expressing "exact ideas," I think that's asking too much - many amateurs of music don't have exact ideas about it, and that's OK too. Those who do think about music have to seek each other out to discuss it, and that's the virtue of forums like Classical Music Guide.
John Francis

maestrob
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Re: Bach/Busoni 'Chaconne in D Minor'

Post by maestrob » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:38 pm

Thank-you, Belle, for posting the De Larrocha, a particular favorite of mine. Alicia De Larrocha was a superb pianist in spite of her small hands and her speciality representing Spanish composers. She even recorded the Khachaturian piano concerto, which is a killer, although she never tackled Rachmaninoff TMK.

I remember that recital program in Brooklyn when she played the Bach Chaconne, around the time she recorded the piece (1986).

maestrob
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Re: Bach/Busoni 'Chaconne in D Minor'

Post by maestrob » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:52 pm

Without musical training, it's difficult for a listener to describe why they like a certain interpretation, other than by comparison (i. e. "That reminds me of Toscanini."). Even as a trained musician, I often find myself searching for words to describe my reactions to a recording in a particular way, and often resort to generalities about sensitivity and a "fine touch" in describing piano discs, for instance. It's not only the traits a trained ear can hear, but the prejudices one has acquired over the years that simply come out as "I liked this recording" or "I was disappointed by the conducting in such-and-so concert." Taste is difficult to quantify objectively, thus I recommend detailing your own prejudices before offering opinions.

Belle
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Re: Bach/Busoni 'Chaconne in D Minor'

Post by Belle » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:21 pm

Excellent comments; thanks JohnF and Maestrob.

I'll talk to my co-convener and friend this morning about all this; perhaps we could present a program which looks at pathways into talking about music, building skills and confidence in responses which help the listeners share their views. When we ask audience members to listen for something specific they'll often find just what it was you wanted, and more.

In a recent program about Carlos Kleiber I asked the people to watch carefully the DVD performance of the first movement of the Brahms #2 with the Vienna Philharmonic - that there was something about this recording which was a bit out of the ordinary. At the end I asked them if they'd spotted anything; I got three answers:

No women in the Vienna Philharmonic; the conductor wasn't using a score; the musicians didn't look at the conductor. They were all excellent observations, but the one I was looking for was that the camera almost exclusively concentrated on the conductor.


They're all receptive to new things and it would seem reasonable to at least help them find the vocabulary and means of expression to explain their responses, even if these are pictorial and illustrative rather than musical per se. I've noticed this is a source of frustration for some of them.

Ricordanza
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Re: Bach/Busoni 'Chaconne in D Minor'

Post by Ricordanza » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:12 am

Belle wrote:
Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:37 am
It occurs to me that many people feel locked out of art music because they feel they lack the sophistication to DISCUSS their responses to it, where we seem to take that for granted ourselves.
Well, I don't take it for granted. I've written over 150 reviews/personal impressions of concerts and still find it difficult to choose the right words to describe the music and the performance.

arepo
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Re: Bach/Busoni 'Chaconne in D Minor'

Post by arepo » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:09 am

Henry..

Your reviews contain more of the "right words" than any reviewer I'm familiar with, and you could be writing for any publication that covers classical music concerts.
Keep up the fine work you do.
cliftwood

arepo
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Re: Bach/Busoni 'Chaconne in D Minor'

Post by arepo » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:40 am

Here's a truly wonderful performance of the Brahms/Bach Chaconne by Trifinov.
Very special.
cliftwood
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8-nWq6pqag

Ricordanza
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Re: Bach/Busoni 'Chaconne in D Minor'

Post by Ricordanza » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:50 am

arepo wrote:
Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:09 am
Henry..
Your reviews contain more of the "right words" than any reviewer I'm familiar with, and you could be writing for any publication that covers classical music concerts.

Keep up the fine work you do.
cliftwood
Thanks! :D See you at the Emanuel Ax recital.

maestrob
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Re: Bach/Busoni 'Chaconne in D Minor'

Post by maestrob » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:44 am

arepo wrote:
Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:40 am
Here's a truly wonderful performance of the Brahms/Bach Chaconne by Trifinov.
Very special.
cliftwood
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8-nWq6pqag
I enjoyed that, cliftwood. Thank-you!

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