Liszt, Rachmaninov, Busoni - Back to Bach: Tributes and Transcriptions | Prima Facie PFCD061

Liszt, Rachmaninov, Busoni - Back to Bach: Tributes and Transcriptions


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Label: Prima Facie

Cat No: PFCD061

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 19th May 2017



The pianist Kenneth Hamilton, whose recording of Ronald Stevenson's piano works received widespread critical acclaim, returns with an imaginative recording of Bach tributes and transcriptions. 'Liszt, Rachmaninov, Busoni - Back to Bach' forms the first in Prima Facie's Heritage Series, which seeks to shed new light on familiar repertoire.

'Back to Bach'
, mapped out as a pianistic pilgrimage and Romantic musical offering, traverses a path from the resonant virtuosity of Liszt's Fantasy and Fugue on B-A-C-H to his movingly intimate Variations on "Weinen, klagen". Along the way, it takes in Rachmaninov's witty transformation of a Bach violin partita, the meditative beauty of the Bach-Busoni Chorale Preludes and the famous Bach-Busoni Chaconne.

Hamilton's playing is inspired both by his passion for this music, and by fascination for its varied historical sources - insights into the past that include Busoni's and Rachmaninov's own recordings, and the reminiscences of Liszt pupils. The Bach-Busoni Chaconne accordingly features revisions from Busoni's piano roll of the piece, while the poignant rendition of Liszt's Variations on "Weinen, Klagen" reflects Liszt's own performance advice, as well as Hamilton's conviction that the work was written as an emotional tribute to Liszt's children, Daniel and Blandine, whose tragically early deaths are shatteringly depicted in the music. It is, in fact, a foreshadowing of Mahler's Kindertotenlieder (Songs of the Death of Children), ending not with resigned despair, but with a fervent hope for future redemption.

Described by The Guardian as an "all-round virtuoso", Scottish pianist Kenneth Hamilton performs worldwide as a recitalist, concerto soloist and broadcaster. His previous Prima Facie CD, 'Kenneth Hamilton Plays Ronald Stevenson Vol.1', received enthusiastic reviews:

"Played with understanding and brilliance" - Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review

"an unmissable disc"
- Colin Clarke, Fanfare

performed with "precision and brilliance" - Andrew Clements, The Guardian

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