Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Paul Jacobs performs Busoni's transcriptions of Bach and Brahms

Here is Nonesuch H-71375 featuring the insightful pianoo talents of Paul Jacobs. The program consists of Busoni's transcriptions of chorale preludes by both Bach and Busoni and it was  recorded in 1979. Arbiter has reissued this lp as part of a two cd set.

Paul Jacobs was a brilliant musician, especially valued as a collaborator to late 20th century composers such as Elliot Carter, John Corigliano and William Bolcom. One of the first prominent artists to succomb to the scourge of AIDS in 1983, Jacobs still left behind a valuable discography in roles as a pianist and producer. His Nonesuch recordings of the piano music of Debussy, in particular, are considered among the finest achievements by any pianist in this composer's works.

The chorale preludes are rendered with magnificence as Jacobs has the full measure of each work and understands how to project the music utilizing the smaller means of piano as opposed to the grandeur of an organ. I especially appreciate Paul Jacob's impeccable phrasing and attention to the turns of detail in each of these preludes.

Paul Jacobs was also an integral part of an lp by Nonesuch of the collection of musical "portraits" by Virgil Thomson. I think it was one of his last recordings. I will be posting that soon.