Busoni - Piano Concerto | First Hand Records FHR064

Busoni - Piano Concerto


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Label: First Hand Records

Cat No: FHR064

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 7th September 2018

Gramophone Editor's Choice



Pietro Scarpini (piano)
Bavarian Radio Chorus & Symphony Orchestra


Rafael Kubelik


Busoni, Ferruccio

Piano Concerto in C major, op.39


Pietro Scarpini (piano)
Bavarian Radio Chorus & Symphony Orchestra


Rafael Kubelik


Recorded in 1966, this album features a classic live broadcast recording of one of the greatest performances of the Busoni Piano Concerto ever to be recorded, played by one of Italy’s greatest 20th pianists, who rarely recorded.

Claimed to be the longest piano concerto ever written, this mammoth concerto lasts 70 minutes in this recording. With immense demands required of the soloist and the large forces needed, the Busoni Piano Concerto is surely the most grandiose ever written. Consisting of five dramatic movements, the final movement includes a male chorus. This fascinating piece is rarely recorded or performed, so this release is very much welcomed.

The Italian pianist Pietro Scarpini was that rare combination: a highly intellectual pianist with a virtuoso technique. He was a dignified and solitary person with a serious approach to music, single-mindedly following the course of his artistic convictions without compromise. Scarpini also had an incredible talent for memorising music - indeed, this concerto recording was performed entirely from memory.

This legendary performance by Pietro Scarpini, Rafael Kubelík and the Bavarian Radio SO is enchanting, beguiling and wonderful. This live recording is available for the first time on CD and is released as a limited edition with the blessing of the Kubelík estate.


The most significant plus is in these artists’ shared vision, where each abandons, or seems to abandon, his specific role and opts instead for the overall role of musician pure and simple, Scarpini’s piano serving as a second, integrated orchestra, Kubelík and his Bavarian players often achieving soloistic levels of subtlety. ... The sound matches other top-ranking BRSO broadcasts from the period for luminosity and I’m happy to say that applause has been excised. An essential purchase for all lovers of this most complex and arresting of composers.  Rob Cowan
Gramophone Awards 2018

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