CD-1247(2) VISIONS: PIANO WORKS BY BUSONI, BLOCH, FINNISSY & FLYNN. Carlo Grante, piano. CD 1: (67:30) Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924): Drei Albumblätter (1917, 1921) 9:35 George Flynn (b. 1937) Glimpses of Our Inner Lives* (2000-01). CD 2: (53:06) Michael Finnissy (b. 1946): Bachsche Nachdichtungen* (2000); Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924): Indianisches Tagebuch, Erstes Buch (1915); Ernest Bloch (1880-1959): Visions and Prophecies (1936) 11:50. *World premiere recordings, with lengthy program notes by the composers. (DDD) UPC# 0-17685-12472- 3
Sound Clips (MP3):
1. Ferruccio Busoni- Drei AlbumblÃ¤tter. i. Andantino sostenuto
2. ii. Andante
3. iii. Sostenuto religioso
4. George Flynn- Glimpses of Our Inner Lives. 3-11
BUZZ: Busoni's first Albumblatt, originally for flute and piano, is composed around Bach's 'Jesu, meine Freude' and serves as curtainraiser to an increasingly visionary record of music meant for dreams. The second Albumblatt, a little fugue based on the scene in Doktor Faust in which Faust, at the court of the Duke of Parma, shows his mastery of black magic by conjuring up a vision of John and Salome. The third Albumblatt, 'in the style of a chorale prelude', once again references Doktor Faust, in this case the moment when Faust appeals seductively to the Duchess of Parma with the words 'Komm, o komm! Folge mir nach'. -- Busoni composed three works inspired by the melodies of native Americans, of which Four Studies on Motifs of the North American Indians for piano [Indian Diary, Book One] (1915), heard here, is one.
Flynn was once associated with John Cage and his musical experiments. Flynn's Glimpses of Our Inner Lives has grown out of musical ideas inspired by the writings of the Chicago cultural theorist Kenneth Derus, especially those aspects of The Qualities of Melodic Simples (1990) and 'Perigraph: To Remember Sorabji's Music' (in Sorabji: A Critical Celebration, 1992) that deal with memory. As Flynn read Derus he became intrigued by Derus's suggestions of time warping or collapsing in memory, and by the kaleidoscopic rush of remembered images, their transformation and fusion in memory, and their consequent emotional weight: 'objects of poignant and rather terrifying unity' (Perigraph). These notions found their way into Flynn's Glimpses as musical gestures, textures, and sequences of events meant to create impressions that might poetically resemble our feelings about memory experiences.
Finnissy is the most prolific of Britain's contemporary composers. Finnissy's Bachsche Nachdichtungen (Sound Poems After Bach) forms the central episode of the eighth section of his History of Photography in Sound—a piece lasting, in all, five and a half hours. The music pays tribute to J.S. Bach through the intermediary 'manner' of Busoni, whose contrapuntal fantasy is recalled in the texture and material (four different versions of the chorale 'Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr' BWV 662, 667, 716 and 717 are heard). Although imitative of Baroque keyboard style the actual tonality of the music is chromatic and 'slippery'. The piece was composed at the suggestion of Carlo Grante (the dedicatee of the first section of the History) and lasts roughly twenty minutes.
Carlo Grante is one of the most active and accomplished performing and recording artists of his generation. He was recently featured in the widely read monograph "Roberto Piana incontra Carlo Grante," first of a series devoted to major musical figures of Italy. His concert performances feature a broad repertoire: recently, under the direction of conductor Fabio Luisi, he performed Franz Schmidt's Concertante Variationen with the MDR Orchestra of Leipzig at the Gewandhaus; Busoni's Concerto Op.39 with the Orchestra dell'Accademia S.Cecilia, Rome, at the Parcomdella Musica and with the Wiener Symphoniker in Vienna; F. Schmidt's Concerto with the Wiener Symphoniker at Vienna's Konzerthaus; Isabel Mundry's "Panorama Ciego" piano concerto with the Dresden Staatskapelle at the Semperoper. He has been recording the complete solo piano works of Godowsky for Music & Arts and recently began recording a complete Scarlatti cycle, the first two volumes of which (Music & Arts CD boxes 1236 and 1242) have garnered international acclaim.