Title, The Essence of Music and Other Papers. Author, Ferruccio Busoni. Edition, reprint. Publisher, Dover, ISBN, , Front Cover. Ferruccio Busoni. Dover Publications, – Music – pages J7THE ESSENCE AND ONENESS OF MUSIC. 1. IIJ THE FUTURE OF MUSIC. The Essence of Music and Other Papers by Ferruccio Benvenuto Busoni; Rosamond Ley and a great selection of related books, art and collectibles available.

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Ferruccio Busoni 1 April — 27 July given names: Ferruccio Dante Michelangiolo Benvenuto [i] was an Italian composerpianistconductor, editor, writer, and teacher. His international career and reputation meant that he met and had close relations with many of the leading musicians, artists and literary figures of his time, and he was sought-after both as a keyboard instructor and a teacher of composition.

Busoni was born in Empolijust south of Florence; he was the son of professional musicians.

Initially trained by his father, he later studied at the Vienna Conservatory and then with Wilhelm Mayer and Carl Reinecke. In the ensuing years, after brief periods teaching in HelsinkiBoston, and Moscow, he devoted himself to composing, teaching, and touring as a virtuoso pianist in Europe and the United States. His writings on music were influential; they covered not only aesthetics but considerations of microtones and other innovative topics. Busoni was an outstanding if sometimes controversial pianist from an early age.

He began composing in his early years in a late romantic style, but afterwhen he published his Sketch of a New Esthetic of Musiche developed a more individual style, often with elements of atonality. His visits to America led to interest in North American indigenous tribal melodies which were reflected in some of his works.

His compositions include works for piano, including a monumental Piano Concertoand transcriptions of the works of others, notably Johann Sebastian Bach which appeared in the Bach-Busoni Edition.

His other compositions include chamber musicvocal and orchestral works, and also operas, one of which, Doktor Faustwas left unfinished at the time of his death.

Busoni died in Berlin at the age of The family shortly afterwards moved to Trieste. A child prodigylargely taught by his father, he began performing and composing at the age of seven. In an autobiographical note he comments “My father knew little about the pianoforte and was erratic in rhythm, so he made up for these shortcomings with an indescribable combination of energy, severity and pedantry.

From the ages of nine to eleven, with the help of a patron, Busoni studied at the Vienna Conservatory. His first performances in Vienna were glowingly received by the critic Eduard Hanslick.

Catalog Record: The essence of music, and other papers | Hathi Trust Digital Library

After leaving Vienna, he had a brief period of study in Graz with Wilhelm Mayerand conducted a performance of his own composition Stabat MaterOp. Other early pieces were published at this time, including settings of Ave Maria Opp. Busoni was elected in to the Accademia Filharmonica of Bolognathe youngest person to receive this honour since Mozart.

He also met Johannes Brahmsto whom he dedicated two sets of piano Etudesand who recommended him to undertake study in Leipzig with Carl Reinecke. He also continued to compose, and made his first attempt at an opera, Sigunewhich he worked on from to before abandoning the project. Schwalm demurred but said he would commission a fantasy on Peter Cornelius ‘s opera The Barber of Baghdad for fifty msic down, and a hundred on completion.

The next morning Busoni turned up at Schwalm’s office, and asked for marks, handing over the completed work: In the musicologist Hugo Riemann recommended Busoni to Martin Wegeliusdirector of the Institute of Music at Helsingfors now HelsinkiFinland, then part of the Russian Empirefor the vacant position of advanced piano instructor. This was Busoni’s first permanent post. Busoni’s biographer Edward Dent writes that “This was not only the beginning of [his] transcriptions, but For her he composed Kultaselle Finnish: To the beloved for cello and piano published without opus number, BV In Busoni published his first edition of works of J.

Bach thr two- and three-part Inventions. Gerda joined him in Moscow where they promptly married. But living in Moscow did not suit the Busonis for both financial and professional reasons; he felt excluded by his nationalistically-inclined Russian colleagues.


So when he received an approach from William Steinway to teach at New Tge Conservatory of Music in Boston, he was happy to take the opportunity, particularly as the conductor at that time of the Boston Symphony Orchestra was Arthur Nikischwhom he had known sincewhen they performed together at a concert in Vienna.

Busoni’s first son, Benvenuto known as Benniwas born in Boston inbut Kusic experience at New England Conservatory proved unsatisfactory. After a year he resigned from the Conservatory and launched himself into a series of recitals across the Eastern USA. The result was to force on him a re-evaluation of the potential of Italian musical traditions which he had so far ignored in favour of the German traditions, and in particular the models of Johannes Brahms and the orchestral techniques of Liszt and Richard Wagner.

In Busoni settled in Berlin, which he henceforth regarded as his home base, except during the years around World War I. His earlier feelings about the city had been unsympathetic: Berlin proved an excellent base for European tours.

As in the previous two years in the USA Busoni had to depend for his living on exhausting but remunerative tours as a piano virtuoso; in addition at this period he was remitting substantial amounts to his parents, who continued to depend on his income. As a recitalist Busoni’s programming and style initially raised concerns in some of Europe’s musical centres.

The essence of music and other papers by Ferruccio Busoni | LibraryThing

His first concerts in London, inmet with mixed comments. The Musical Times reported that he “commenced in a manner to irritate the essfnce amateurs [i. Busoni’s international reputation swiftly rose and he frequently concertized in Berlin, the other European capitals and in European regional centres including Manchester, Birmingham, Marseilles, Florence, and many German and Austrian cities throughout this period, as well as returning to America for four visits between and Busoni’s performing commitments somewhat stifled his creative capacity during this period; in buson wrote “I have great success as a pianist, the composer I conceal for the present.

Hoffmannfirst performed to a lukewarm reception in Berlin in In a series of orchestral concerts in Berlin between andboth as pianist and conductor, Busoni particularly promoted contemporary music from outside Germany essenc he avoided contemporary music, except for his own, in his solo recitals. The concerts also included premieres of some of Busoni’s own works of the period, amongst them, inthe Piano Concerto, in which he was the soloist and the conductor was Karl Muckin his Turandot Suiteand in his Comedy Overture.

Couling suggests the programming of the concerts was “generally regarded as a provocation”. During the period Busoni undertook teaching at masterclasses at WeimarVienna and Basel. In he was invited by Duke Karl-Alexander of Weimar to lead a masterclass for fifteen young virtuosi. This concept was more amenable to Busoni than teaching formally in a Conservatory: Pupils included Maud Allanwho later became famous as a dancer and remained a friend.

But arguments with the Directorate of the Vienna Conservatoire, under whose auspices the classes were held, soured the atmosphere.

Ferruccio Busoni

In the years before World War I, Busoni steadily extended his contacts in the art world in general as well as amongst musicians.

Arnold Schoenbergwith whom Busoni had been in correspondence sincesettled in Berlin in partially as a consequence of Busoni lobbying on his behalf. Following a series of concerts in Northern Italy in springHusoni was offered the directorship of the Liceo Rossini in Bologna.

The posting proved not to be a success. Bologna was a cultural backwater, despite occasional visits from celebrities such as Isadora Duncan. Busoni’s piano pupils were untalented, and he had constant arguments with the local authorities.

After the outbreak of World War I in Augusthe asked for a year of absence to play an American tour; in fact he was never to return. Virtually his sole permanent achievement at the school was to have modernized its sanitary facilities. The piece is based on melodies and rhythms from various American Indian tribes; Busoni derived them from a book he had received from his former pupil, the ethnomusicologist Natalie Curtis Burlin during his tour of the USA.


The work was premiered with Busoni as soloist in March in Berlin. From June to January Busoni was in Berlin: During this period he began to work seriously on the libretto for his proposed opera Doktor Faust. In January he left for a concert tour of the USA, which was to be his last visit there. During this time he continued work on his Bach edition, including his version of the Goldberg Variations. Andreae arranged for Busoni to give concerts with his orchestra.

In whilst visiting Italy, Busoni met again with the artist Boccioni, who painted his portrait; Busoni was deeply affected when a few months later Boccioni was killed in a riding accident whilst on military training, and published a strongly anti-war article. After the end of the war, he again undertook concert tours in England, Paris and Italy.

He was now in a state of declining health. Although he continued to give concerts his main concern was to complete Doktor Faustthe libretto of which had been published in Germany in In he wrote “Like a subterranean river, heard but not seen, the music for Faust roars and flows continually in the depths of my aspirations”.

In Berlin Busoni was at the heart of the musical world of the Weimar Republic. His works, including his operas, were regularly programmed. He continued to perform whilst his health allowed it; problems of hyperinflation in Germany meant that he needed to undertake tours to England.

Ferruccio Busoni “Music is the art of sounds in the movement of time” :

Busoni died in Fssence on 7 Julyofficially from heart failurealthough inflamed kidneys and overwork also contributed to his death. A plaque at the site commemorates his residence. Busoni’s wife Gerda died in Sweden in Their second son Lello, an illustrator, died in New York in Fellow-pianist Alfred Brendel opined of Busoni’s playing that it “signifies the victory of reflection over bravura ” after the more flamboyant era of Liszt.

He cites Busoni himself: The solution of a busonni, once found, cannot be reapplied to a different context. Our art is a theatre of surprise and invention, and of the seemingly unprepared. The spirit of music arises from the depths of our humanity and is returned to the high regions whence it has descended on mankind.

Sir Henry Wood was surprised to hear Busoni playing, with two hands in double octavespassages in a Mozart concerto written as single notes. At this, Donald Tovey proclaimed Busoni “to be an absolute purist in not confining himself strictly to Mozart’s written text”, that easence, that Mozart himself could have taken similar liberties. The musicologist Percy Scholes wrote that “Busoni, from his perfect command over every means of expression and his complete consideration of every phrase in a composition to every other phrase and to the whole, was the truest artist of all the pianists [I] had ever heard.

Busoni gave many but not all of his works opus numbers ; some numbers apply to more than one work after the composer dropped some of his earlier works from his acknowledged corpus.

Nor are the composer’s numbers all in temporal order. The identifier B for BearbeitungGerman: This means that he dated his work as an independent composer from the piano pieces An die Jugend Antony Beaumont comments that Busoni wrote virtually no chamber music after and no songs between andcommenting that this was “part of the process of freeing himself from his Leipzig essnece Dent comments “In construction [the Concerto] is esence to analyse The work has to be considered as a whole, and Busoni always desired it to be played straight through without interruption.

Busoni employed motifs from Chinese and other oriental music in the suite, though, as Leichtentritt points out, the Suite is “in fact the product of an Occidental mind, for whom the exact buwoni of the real Chinese model would always be unnatural and unattainable