Chamber Fantasy on 'Carmen' : Work information

This work

Work name
Chamber Fantasy on 'Carmen'
Work number
1920-00-00 02:00:00

This recording

Simon Lawman
Bob Auger
Recording date

Track listing

  • 8:29 min


Bizet's greatest achievement Carmen has provided the inspiration for hundreds of arrangements, transcriptions, paraphrases and virtuoso fantasies over the years. For Busoni's final piano sonatina in 1920, the aging composer also turned to Carmen and wrote this remarkable work.

Using several themes from the opera, including Don José's 'Flower Song', the Habanera and material from the Prelude, Busoni creates an exciting and individual virtuoso work that retains the chromaticism and novel tone colours so typical of his output. The final fade out as the themes are combined chromatically is as unexpected as it is masterful.

The Composers

Ferruccio (Dante Michelangelo Benvenuto) Busoni

A child prodigy, Ferrucio Busoni was conducting his own works from the age of 12.  After studying in Bologna, he moved to Leipzig to study under Reinecke at the recommendation of Johannes Brahms.  In 1888 he brought out his first piano transcription of the work of Johann Sebastian Bach, which was to be an obsession of his through the years.  A celebrated concert pianist, he wrote many progressive works, in many ways picking up where Franz Liszt left off in terms of virtuosity and advanced tonality.  However he had no great love for Liszt's ideas concerning programmatic music.  His greatest works are generally held to be the piano concerto, his Fantasia Contrappuntistica and his opera Doktor Faust.

Related composers: Paul Hindemith, Gustav Mahler