Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ol' Blue Eyes

I always think it is funny how the great pianist Ferruccio Busoni has the most Italian name in the world. Then you look at him and he is this big German.

There is Ferruccio Busoni pictured above. Here he is again. He is pleasant to look at, I will say that. You cannot really see in these pictures that his eyes were blue but I believe that they were. I am sure I have seen that in other photos.

His looks made sense only when I read that Busoni's dad was Italian but his mother was German. It is funny how she allowed his father to name him "Ferruccio." His name was 100 percent Italian even though his looks were not.

My mother and I were once talking about Busoni and my mother said, "His mother must have loved his father very much."

I think that must be true!

I like how Busoni expanded on Bach and other composers, making already difficult pieces that much more difficult. There was a kind of glory in that, a celebration of musical skills. There was a time when people did not respect that kind of artistry. I am happy that now it is being respected again.

Here is Horowitz giving us Busoni's take on Bach.

Always great fun to listen to.

1 comment:

  1. Busoni once wrote "Bach is the foundation of piano music, Liszt the summit. The two make Beethoven possible." Figure that one out if you can.

    Busoni's own works have a dedicated group of admirers. A lot of his piano pieces sound like austere Liszt, if one can wrap one's mind around that concept.