Conductor, pianist, teacher, writer and composer HANS GUIDO VON BÜLOW was a key figure in nineteenth-century music.
Kenneth Birkin, in his book, Hans von Bülow, A Life for Music, published in 2011, observes that he ‘never really made the grade as a composer’. However, whilst it is true that Bülow is perhaps best known for his editions of keyboard works by other composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Domenico Scarlatti and Weber. Bülow also wrote a substantial number of solo piano pieces, songs, chamber works and choral music.
When considering Bülow’s compositions in his book, ‘Hans von Bülow: a Life and Times’, published in 2010, Alan Walker singled out the Mazurka-Fantasie Op.13, together with other piano pieces, such as the Ballade Op.11 and Il Carnevale di Milano Op.21 (recorded on Nimbus NI 5876), as ‘worth reviving’. They represent Bülow at his best as a composer, proving that his creative talents were not negligible, even if, in the end, they were no match for his remarkable powers as a promoter and interpreter of the works of others.