This has to be our Romantic Piano Concerto for the millennium!
The Busoni concerto, with its five movements, choral finale and a length of over 70 minutes, is surely the most grandiose ever written. But this is no over-ambitious monster; Busoni was one of the greatest pianists the world has known, but he was also a great intellectual with very strong views on art and culture. This work is the masterpiece of his middle years, more of a symphony in the breadth and scope of its ideas, but at the same time almost casually requiring the most formidable technical ability from the soloist. There is no doubt that this is one of music's major neglected masterpieces.
Marc-André Hamelin needs no introduction as a champion of the greatest challenges in the piano literature. Here he is joined by Mark Elder who has a particular reputation as a Busoni conductor. He conducted this work with Peter Donohoe in their famed Proms performance of 1988 and he has also conducted Busoni's rarely performed magnum opus ›Doctor Faust‹ at ENO.
»As piano concertos go, they certainly don't get bigger than this; and as recordings go, they don't come any better« (The Scotsman)
»Like no other performance that I've heard it proves what a richly enjoyable piece it is« (Gramophone)
»Another awe-inspiring feat from this prodigiously virtuosic Canadian« (Gramophone)
»Let there be no doubt – Hamelin, with the CBSO and Elder, gives a performance of brilliance and passion to rank with any from the past ... thrilling.« (Sunday Herald, Australia)
P. Cosse in Klassik heute 4 / 00: »Selten wohl haben es Interpreten geschafft, einen viel und kontrovers diskutierten Komponisten mit einer Schallplattenaufnahme so nahe zu bringen, so verständlich zu gestalten!«
Konzert für Klavier und Orchester op. 39
1. Prologo e Introito (Allegro, dolce e solenne)