The Italian pianist and composer, Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924), is credited with transcribing many of Bach’s keyboard and violin works for solo piano. In what would become his lifelong passion, Busoni dedicated more than thirty years to this pursuit.
The transcription of Bach’s organ works for modern piano must have presented him with particular challenges. Nonetheless, Busoni’s well-crafted transcription of the Toccata and Fugue in D minor (BWV 565) is considered the most definitive version for piano today.
Busoni’s arrangement of the Chaconne from the Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor (BWV 1004) is another example of his ability to make the most of the capabilities of the modern piano. Enjoy this video of a live performance of the Chaconne by pianist, Hélène Grimaud.