Busoni’s letters to Hugo Leichtentritt from 1915/1916 now available

Following the 13 extant letters by Leichtentritt, the first letters by Busoni have now been added to our edition of Ferruccio Busoni’s correspondence with Hugo Leichtentritt. The excerpt presented by Kira Herbing as part of her BA thesis covers the years 1915 and 1916, ranging from Busoni’s work on his edition of the 2nd part of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, completed in New York, and Leichtentritt’s first plans for publications on Busoni, to Busoni’s return to Europe – evading to Zurich due to the war – and the completion of Leichtentritt’s Busoni biography. We witness Busoni feeding Leichtentritt his lines for this book; the plans for a Faust opera materialize more and more; and Leichtentritt’s production as a scholar as well as a composer is also being discussed. The dispute over the Formenlehre sent by Leichtentritt is only reflected in the letters from 1918 on; these will follow next in our edition.

Among the 13 letters now edited by Kira Herbing, eight can already be found in excerpts in Antony Beaumont’s English-language edition; five appear here for the first time ever, the others for the first time in their entirety and in the German-language original.

Christian Schaper, Tuesday, November 29, 2022