Busoni: Piano Concerto

Busoni’s fascinating, mammoth Piano Concerto no longer can claim to be the rarity it once was, when just about the only version available was John Odgon’s not-really-as-great-as-its-reputation-would-lead-us-to-believe recording for EMI. For the performance that really is great, look no further. Dohnányi and Ohlssen play the spots off the work, rugged and impassioned in the opening two movements, thoughtfully intense in the long central Pezzo serioso, scintillating in the All’Italiana, and refreshingly cogent and truly “moderato” in a finale that never drags or sounds anti-climactic. This is, in fact, an ideal sort of piece for Dohnányi, and a perfect partnership, one in which the conductor can maintain the thread of symphonic argument and concentrate on securing superior results from the Cleveland Orchestra while leaving the more impassioned and Romantically self-indulgent moments to Ohlssen. The recording, also one of Telarc’s best from this source, still betters the competition. At mid-price, here’s an easy first choice for this wonderful work.

David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

Release Date:
1 Sep. 1989
Original Release Date:
27 Aug. 2002
Number of Discs: