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An die Jugend

An die Jugend is a piece of classical music for solo piano by Ferruccio Busoni.

The work was written in 1909 and published in the same year by Zimmermann of Leipzig.

As in many other works by Busoni, music by other composers is copied and freely adapted. The piece is in five movements:

  1. Preludietto, Fughetta ed Esercizio - this movement uses impressionist harmonies reminiscent of Claude Debussy. In the "Esercizio", chordss suggesting A major in the left hand are juxtaposed with passages in the right based on the whole tone scale.
  2. Preludio, Fuga e Fuga figurata (Studie nach J. S. Bach's Wohltemperiertem Klavier) - The "Preludio" and "Fuga" are an almost unaltered transcription of the D major prelude and fugue from the first book of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. The "Fuga figurata" presents elements of the prelude and fugue simultaneously.
  3. Giga, Bolero e Variazione (Studie nach Mozart) - The "Giga" is based on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Eine kleine Gigue, K. 574, the "Bolero" is based on the fandango in the Act III finale of The Marriage of Figaro, while the "Variazione" is a variation on the "Giga".
  4. Introduzione e Capriccio (Paganinesco) - The first part is an arrangement of Niccolo Paganini's Caprice No. 11 for solo violin, the middle section is an arrangement of his Caprice No. 15, and the last part sees a return of No. 11. Busoni embellishes the originals to create a difficult piece reminiscent of Franz Liszt.
  5. Epilogo - The music of the first movement returns. Although, as before, the harmonic language is impressionist and tonal centres are unclear, the piece closes with a cadence in C major.

Each movement lasts very roughly in the region of five minutes.