Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Madge made in...

Hmmm... Geoffrey Douglas Madge plays Busoni's piano music on 6 CDs. I wonder is it any good? Time for the latest "Did you even listen to the same CD?", which comes to you from 1988!

Here's Adrian Corleonis in the May/June '88 Fanfare:
Madge's credentials for this project derive from his performance and recording of Sorabji's stupendous four-hour-long Opus Clavicembalisticum ... The surprise, however, is not that Madge plays Busoni as he does Sorabji, but that this more familiar fare cruelly exposes a remarkable clumsiness. His weaknesses begin with the difficulty of maintaining a steady pulse, hesitations posing as rubato, and huge ritards stifling many of the codas ... The near-stammer and feeble tone of “Turandots Frauengemach“ are incredible—and unacceptable—from a pianist of Madge's pretensions. ...  the overall impression remains labored, literal, and disappointing.
And Kyle Gann in the Nov/Dec '88 issue's Want List section:
Madge's stunningly intelligent performances made the Sonatinas' logic perfectly clear for the first time. I hate to think that, had it not been for this incredible pianist, I might have died not knowing such charming works as the Macchiette Medioevali. Heaven on a disc. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Agents of Zappa

...because someone on TalkClassical used the phrase "agents of Zappa"...