Gunnar Johansen, where to start?

June 19, 2012 at 4:18 PM | Posted in Music, Piano, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The pianist Gunnar Johansen was a completest’s completest. There are some pianists and Sviatoslav Richter, one of the greatest of all time, comes to mind who are famous for not completing cycles. In Richter’s case, he did not record all of Beethoven’s sonatas and only three of his concerto’s. Given a long career and companies waiting in line to record him, this speaks to his mindset and his temperament.

But Johansen recorded all of Bach (as did Gould, more or less) and 51 albums of Liszt (did Gould play any except the Beethoven Symphony transcriptions?), 7 LPs of Busoni and all of, the famous for being a great pianist, Ignaz Friedman.

A reader of my prior post introducing Johansen asked if I had a recommendation as to where to start with him. I am new to him and his recording and so I am not the one to ask – and yet I have an answer. Just recently the Johansen Trust has issued a CD with a wonderful representation of the great pianist’s works. Here you will find:

  • Johansen’s own transcription of Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor
  • a 1928 recording (in very good sound) of CPE Bach’s Rondo in G Major
  • Liszt: After a Lecture of Dante (tremendous)
  • Busoni’s Variations on Chopin’s C Minor Prelude
  • Pearl Harbor Sonata by Johansen and completed the day before the bombing!
  • Friedman’s transcription of Gluck’s Dance of the Blessed Spirits
  • Chopin’s Black Key etude, again from the far-off year of 1928

Ah, now you must have it? Click here and you will find your way. Sometimes an Amazon click does not do a treasure justice.

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