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Ferruccio Busoni: A Musical Ishmael (Hardback)
  • Ferruccio Busoni: A Musical Ishmael (Hardback)
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Ferruccio Busoni: A Musical Ishmael (Hardback)

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£47.95
Hardback 424 Pages / Published: 10/12/2004
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The first full length biography of Busoni since Edward Dent's in 1933, this work contains a significant amount of material unavailable to Dent, and is not written under the restrictions imposed on Dent by Busoni's widow or the demands of others still living at the time. Drawing largely on Busoni's own letters to his parents, his wife, and his many friends, and much material published since his death on Busoni himself and on others with whom he came in contact. Couling offers a truer picture of the very complex genius, a Faustian figure torn between his allegiances to Germany and to Italy, between the demands (and attractions) of a life as a celebrity virtuoso pianist and those of a composer, between the family man and the restless seeker after solitude and contemplation. Busoni was a forerunner in his ideas on what music was, is, and could be, which drew the fire of conservatives during his lifetime. His ideas on musical notation, the division of the scale, and opera were well ahead of his time, but in many cases are common practice today. Only recently has the veil of shadow been lifted from his work and ideas. Della Couling shines a deserving light on Busoni's life, ideas, and profound influence on contemporary musicology.

Publisher: Scarecrow Press
ISBN: 9780810851429
Number of pages: 424
Weight: 585 g
Dimensions: 223 x 149 x 29 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This is the first full-length biography of Ferruccio Busoni since 1933. It contains a significant amount of material previously unavailable and is not written under the restrictions imposed by Busoni's widow. Drawing largely on Busoni's letters to his parents, wife, and friends, this biography offers a full portrait of the pianist, composer, family man, and seeker after solitude and contemplation. * Reference and Research Book News *
...this is the first full-length biography of Busoni since Edward Dent's Ferruccio Busoni (1933), and it marks a major step in the reconsideration of this intriguing 20th-century figure. As pianist, and as defender of the new, Busoni deserves undying respect, a judgment well-supported by Couling's biography. Highly recommended. * CHOICE *
Written in a highly accessible style, this first full-length biography of Busoni in English since Edward Dent's Ferruccio Busoni (1933) blends thorough scholarship with a steady stream of observations about Busoni's character, motivations, talents, and daily life as a composer and pianist. * SymphonyNOW *
Amazingly to his many admirers, this is only the second full-length biography of Busoni to appear in more than 70 years. The first, an excellent but very partial account by EM Dent, was written within a decade of Busoni's death at 58, and took shape under the watchful and protective eye of the composer's widow and a number of other members of Busoni's circle. Couling's portrait, nine years in the making, was subject to no such restrictions and inhibitions, and it shows....This is a fascinating, highly readable and wide-ranging book, adding an extra dimension (indeed several) to our understanding of Busoni's music. * Piano *
The book was badly needed...Della Couling is an able linguist, and that is an essential qualification; she also combines a knowledge of music with a broad range of further cultural interests. As a biographer she is thorough and thoughtful, and (to reassure readers for whom opera is their prime, or exclusive, interest) is particularly good on Busoni's late development as an opera composer. From the allusive (and elusive) Die Brautwahl, through the delightful Turandot and Arlecchino, to Doktor Faust ('the climax of Busoni's art'), her book provides sound information and commentary together with that element the reference books can't provide-the full context. * Opera Now *
...Della Couling's new biography does make amusing reading... * Music & Letters *
Ms Couling is particularly perceptive about human problems and child-parent relationships....her biography convincingly brings to life an exceptional human being-warts-and-all. * Musical Times *
Musical works are well and engagingly described...Ferruccio Busoni: A Musical Ishmael turns out to be a good read on an engrossing topic... * Teaching History: A Journal of Methods *

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