Ferruccio Busoni – Konzertstück & Romanze e scherzoso
(b. Empoli, 1 April 1866 – d. Berlin, 27 July 1924)
Busoni’s Concerto for piano and orchestra with male chorus, Op. 39, BV 247,1 is, despite its length and difficulty, the best-known of the composer’s piano concertante works. But in fact it is only one of several such works. In 1878, at the age of twelve, he wrote a Concerto for piano and string quartet, Op. 17 BV 80, which in recent times has been unearthed and recorded. Then, in 1889-90 came a Concert fantasie for piano and orchestra, BV 230, which was performed the following year, but which the composer withdrew and rearranged as a purely orchestral work, the Symphonisches Tongedicht, BV 240, of 1893. Shortly after came this Konzertstück, which is Op. 31a BV 236. The big piano concerto followed in 1904. Some years later he composed the Indian Fantasia Op. 44 BV 264, written in 1913-4. Finally, there was the Romanze e scherzoso Op. 54 BV 290 of 1921. So, the two works here are among the earliest and the last of the composer’s piano concertante works. The Romanze e scherzoso was intended as a pendant to the Konzertstück, the works together forming a Concertino, so it is appropriate to publish them together. In addition to these original works, Busoni also made an alternative version of Liszt’s Totentanz for piano and orchestra from manuscript sources, and he orchestrated Liszt’s Rhapsodie espagnole as a piano concertante work, after the model of Liszt’s own orchestration of Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy.
Most of these works are single movements, and they belonged to a time when concert programmes were both longer and more miscellaneous than they have become. Single movement concertante works were popular, and there are examples by Weber, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt and others. Nowadays they have received a new life as useful makeweights to recordings, which is where the listener is mostly likely to encounter them. …
Full preface / Komplettes Vorwort > HERE