Busoni the Visionary III | Newest Installment Released in Pianist Jeni Slotchiver’s CD Series Devoted to Great Composer

“COME, FOLLOW ME INTO THE REALM OF MUSIC…Here there is no end to the astonishment, and yet from the beginning we feel it is homelike. You still hear nothing, because everything sounds…All, all melodies, heard before or never heard, resound completely and simultaneously…they are themselves the souls of millions of beings in millions of epochs.” – Ferruccio Busoni
New York, New York, U.S., February 19, 2015 - (PressReleasePoint) - Centaur Records has released the third volume of pianist Jeni Slotchiver’s CD series devoted to the music of one of history’s greatest composer/pianists, Ferruccio Busoni. Busoni the Visionary III (CRC 3396) offers a cross-section of works from his mature period, plus one of his monumental transcriptions of the organ music of J.S. Bach.

“Listening to Busoni’s music,” Ms. Slotchiver says, “we enter a world rich in lyricism, vibrant rhythm, harmonic invention, and the development and transformation of compelling ideas. Beyond this journey, layers of history, philosophy, mythology, opera and theater emerge, further illuminating and informing the experience. The audience embarks on an astonishing voyage.”

Marcus Dalton of Piano Magazine wrote about Jeni Slotchiver and her Busoni recording project, “she combines a keen intelligence with a strong poetic impulse and a technique which is well up to Busoni’s often fearsome challenges. Like the composer, she is no show-off, but a musician who finds a compelling balance between eloquence and restraint (not to be confused with constraint!). Her every performance is worthy of the highest respect.”

BUSONI THE VISIONARY III | Centaur Records (CRC 3396)

CONTENTS OF THE CD: FERRUCCIO BUSONI (1866-1924) | Toccata (1920) - Preludio • Fantasia • Ciaccona | Ten Variations on a Prelude of Chopin (1884, revised 1922) | Prélude et Étude (en Arpèges) (1923) | Nuit de Noël (1908) | Fantasia nach Johann Sebastian Bach (1909) Alla Memoria di mio Padre Ferdinando Busoni † il 12 Maggio 1909 † | Prelude and Triple Fugue in E-flat Major for Organ BWV 552 (St. Anne) by Johann Sebastian Bach (transcribed for piano by Busoni, 1890)

Jeni Slotchiver, piano | Total Playing Time – 68:50

About the Music (from CD booklet notes by Jeni Slotchiver): Toccata | Busoni’s Toccata stands with the illustrious piano compositions of the 20th century. Demanding technical virtuosity, the score traverses an awe-inspiring expressive spectrum. Within this musical battle of good and evil, the obsessive rhythmic drive of the outer movements frame the central Fantasia’s brooding recitatives and soulful lyricism. The three movements create a work of astounding dramatic proportions. || Ten Variations on a Prelude of Chopin | A revised version of Busoni’s 1884 Variations and Fugue in free form on Chopin’s C minor Prelude…The youth’s self-conscious gravity is liberated by the master’s elemental refinement, and poetic lightheartedness. || Prélude et Étude (en Arpèges) | Busoni expresses his mystical world with Prélude et Étude (en Arpèges). He overcomes the mundane and voyages to his distant dream sphere, an idyllic world of shimmering auras and metaphysical bells. This is the ‘Realm of Music’ the composer chose to inhabit, far more than his corporeal, world-weary reality. || Nuit de Noël | In early usage, [the word] Noël was a cry for attention or exclamation of joy, as in newness or good news…Thus, Nuit de Noël is Busoni’s ‘expression of joy.’ || Fantasia nach Johann Sebastian Bach | Busoni composed Fantasia nach Johann Sebastian Bach in three days, following the death of his father...[who had] introduced his son to Bach…Busoni’s Fantasia introduces a new compositional form… Bach’s musical ideas are re-conceptualized, restructured, and stylistically transformed. || Prelude and Triple Fugue in E-flat Major for Organ BWV 552 (St. Anne) by J. S. Bach | [As] Busoni envisions the triple partnering of composer, transcriber, and performer…[t]he transcriber has to become closely involved with the inner-craft of the composer, while remaining equally cognizant of the performer…The score includes Busoni’s interpretive ideas on phrasings, tempi and dynamics.

About Jeni Slotchiver

A champion of twentieth-century composers, Jeni Slotchiver is dedicated to the presentation of new and rarely heard music, and has given the world premieres of many works in major New York City recitals. She consistently receives critical acclaim in Asia, Australia, England, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia and Spain. Her articles and essays are published in several languages and appear in prominent music periodicals including Piano Magazine, where she was a featured contributor for the Busoni Symposium in London. Ms. Slotchiver presented an historic all-Busoni performance at Merkin Concert Hall in 1997, the first of its kind in New York City in thirty years.

Ms. Slotchiver attended Interlochen Arts Academy, the Aspen Music Festival, and Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University before earning Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance at Indiana University. She continued her studies in New York City with German Diez and Joseph Bloch. Honored with performance grants from the Smithsonian Institution and the New York Public Libraries, she gave her solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall as the first prize winner of the Artists International Young Musicians Auditions.

Jeni Slotchiver’s American radio and broadcast appearances include NPR’s Performance Today, WNYC’s The Fishko Files, WPLN’s Live in Studio C, WKCR’s Live Constructions, and WQXR’s Reflections from the Keyboard with David Dubal. Profiles of Ms. Slotchiver have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Piano Magazine, CDNOW, SEQUENZA21, Mundoclasico, Time Out NY, Café Momus (Budapest), and PЖ (Moscow). Ms. Slotchiver is a favorite guest recitalist and concerto soloist at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Americas Society and the Yamaha Piano Salon Series in New York City, the City Universities of New York, Dartmouth College, Bennington Museum, C. W. Post University, Florida International University, the Presidential Library in California, and Rudolf Ganz Memorial Hall in Chicago. Jeni Slotchiver has appeared as Celebrity Recitalist and Lecturer at the World Piano Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia. Visiting-Artist honors include University of Tulsa, Chicago Musical College, and Tennessee State University, where Ms. Slotchiver served as Co-Artistic Director of the Nashville International Piano Festival.

Anthony Tommasini, in The New York Times, selected Ms. Slotchiver’s debut CD, Busoni The Visionary, as a Critic’s Choice for 1999, calling it “a fascinating program of piano works impressively played.” David Hurwitz, in Classics Today, wrote, “Her wide range of keyboard color and sense of mystery are quite simply mesmerizing.” Robert Cummings, in CD Universe, declared, “Her artistry sparkles throughout, and the finest and subtlest details deftly emerge.” “No one plays Busoni’s piano music with greater clarity or depth of understanding than Jeni Slotchiver,” wrote Jerry Bowles in Sequenza21. “As she demonstrated in Volume I of this series, this is music she clearly loves and understands both intellectually and intuitively. There is no finer, or more committed, advocate for this greatly underrated composer working today.”

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