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Gyorgy Cziffra: Piano Recital, Vol. 2 - Bach/Busoni, Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt

Bach / Beethoven / Schumann / Cziffra
Release Date: 03/11/2014 
Label:  Fabula Classica   Catalog #: 12101   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachLudwig van BeethovenRobert SchumannFrédéric Chopin,   ... 
Performer:  György Cziffra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

GYÖRGY CZIFFRA PIANO RECITAL, Vol. 2 György Cziffra (pn) FABULA 12101, mono (77:25) Live: Lugano 1963

BACH-BUSONI Prelude and Fugue in D. BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 21, “Waldstein.” SCHUMANN Carnaval. CHOPIN Polonaise in e?. Polonaise in A?, Read more class="ARIAL12">“Heroic.” LISZT Valse-Impromptu in A?

The tragic, ill-fated life of György Cziffra brought his performing career more or less to an end by about 1980, though he lived another 14 years in seclusion. Readers of my reviews will know that I consider him the greatest of all “super-virtuosos” of the keyboard, more exact musically than Horowitz and generally more exciting than Argerich. The two great attractions of this CD are the live performances of the “Waldstein” Sonata and Schumann’s Carnaval, which also appeared in a 10-CD set on Membran.

The interesting thing about the “Waldstein” is that he takes it as a very moderate pace, not only slower than the incendiary recordings of Walter Gieseking (1939) and Michael Korstick, but also slower than John O’Conor. Everything is in perfect balance, and as usual Cziffra makes it sound as if the keys are playing themselves, but it is a much more “Classical” approach than one would have expected from this tiger of the keyboard. The performance of Carnaval was a bit livelier, though a bit more mechanical than Alfred Cortot’s recording or the wonderful recent performance by Susan Merdinger.

To be honest, I’ve even heard better performances by him of the Chopin “Heroic” Polonaise as well. I had the overall feeling that this was a concert in which Cziffra was not fully engaged emotionally, but if you are one who collects all of his performances and don’t already have the Beethoven and Schumann, you’ll probably want this. For a live concert, the sound was remarkably clean and clear.

FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

Fugue for organ in D major (variant), BWV 532a (BC J70) by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  György Cziffra (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1710 
Date of Recording: 1963 
Length: 4 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Sonata for Piano no 21 in C major, Op. 53 "Waldstein" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  György Cziffra (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1803-1804; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1963 
Length: 21 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Carnaval, Op. 9 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  György Cziffra (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833-1835; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1963 
Length: 21 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Polonaises (2) for Piano, B 90/Op. 26: no 2 in E flat minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  György Cziffra (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1834-1835; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1963 
Length: 7 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Polonaise for Piano in A flat major, B 147/Op. 53 "Heroic" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  György Cziffra (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1963 
Length: 6 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Valse impromptu for Piano, S 213 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  György Cziffra (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1850; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1963 
Length: 5 Minutes 16 Secs. 

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