Boxy Busoni

Review by: Jed Distler


Artistic Quality: 8

Sound Quality: 3

Just what do I mean by “boxy Busoni”? I’ll explain. Here we have a highly talented pianist, Svetlana Belsky, who plays an assortment of Busoni compositions with solid technique and unquestionable commitment to the composer’s often dour style. She’s obviously put in the hours working up her interpretations for the recording. Alas, her good efforts are compromised by alarmingly dry, drab, and dynamically compromised engineering. It’s difficult to listen to any selection for more than 30 seconds without aural fatigue setting in, especially when louder passages border on blasting. The whole thing sounds like a mediocre baby grand recorded in a small closet. Indeed, a small closet would have been preferable. You can’t accept boxy sonics from a modern-day piano recording, and I’m shocked that such a fine musician as Belsky evidently signed off on this release. A pity and a shame.

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Recording Details:

Album Title: Ferruccio Busoni - The Late Works
Reference Recording: Hamelin (Hyperion)

  • Svetlana Belsky (piano)

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