Bach Nostalghia, Piemontesi (CD)

Bach Nostalghia, Piemontesi (CD)


Discs: 1
Record Label: Pentatone Music
Release Date: April 2, 2021

“Piemontesi makes light work of Busoni’s Bach-inspired Toccata and makes a point of contrasting the sonorities of the transcriptions — one by the great German pianist Wilhelm Kempff — with the transparency and staccato of ‘original’ Bach. A collector’s item for piano enthusiasts.” — The Sunday Times

On Bach Nostalghia, his second Pentatone album, pianist Francesco Piemontesi presents original works of Bach alongside Bach transcriptions and works inspired by Bach from Ferruccio Busoni, Wilhelm Kempff and Maximilian Schnaus. Whereas many modern-day musicians aim to revive the instruments used in Bach’s own time, Piemontesi explores the tradition of Bach transcriptions for piano. This tradition started in the 19th century, found its most prominent exponent in Busoni and is still alive today, as Schnaus’s transcription of Kommst du nun, Jesu, vom Himmel herunter demonstrates.

Despite using an instrument not yet existing in the composer’s time, Busoni and others sought to interpret Bach’s music with utmost reverence and study, expanding our notions of authenticity and Werktreue. For Piemontesi, playing Bach through the eyes of Busoni and Kempff incites a sense of nostalgia, re-establishing the ties to a rich pianistic tradition. The album title alludes to Andrei Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia, a 1983 film about the untranslatability of art and culture.


Bach Prelude and Fugue in E-flat Major, BWV 552 (St. Anne) (arr. Busoni)

Bach Nun komm der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659 (arr. Busoni)

Bach Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645 (arr. Busoni)

Bach Concerto in the Italian Style in F Major, BWV 971

Bach Flute Sonata in E-flat Major, BWV 1031 (arr. Kempff)

Bach Kommst du nun, Jesu, vom Himmel herunter, BWV 650 (arr. Schnaus)

Busoni Toccata

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