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Georges Cziffra

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GRIEG
Piano Concerto
Orchestre National de l’ORTF/Georges Tzipine
PARIS, 17 APRIL 1959
-
LISZT
Piano Concerto No.1
Fantasy on Hungarian Folk Themes
Orchestre National de l’ORTF/André Cluytens
PARIS, 12 MARCH 1959
-
LULLY
Gavotte en rondeau in D minor
-
SCARLATTI
Sonata in D K.96
LUXEMBOURG, 20 JANUARY 1959

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Hungarian born György Cziffra (1921-94) was one of the most celebrated and individual piano virtuosos of the postwar decades in Europe, especially noted for his powers of improvisation and as a Liszt pianist. In 1950 Cziffra was arrested after he attempted to escape from Hungary's Soviet sponsored regime and was severely tortured. After his release in 1953, Cziffra started to record for the Qualiton and Supraphon labels (his debut is on ICAC 5008). In 1956 Cziffra fled to Vienna making his debut there with outstanding success. These live recordings have never been issued commercially before. The Grieg Concerto is typical of Cziffra's 'startling and mercurial quality' while the Liszt Concerto and Fantasy on Hungarian Folk Themes is very much in the style which Liszt 'loved to tease and astonish his adoring audiences'. (Bryce Morrison). After one recital in London, The Daily Telegraph said the audience 'witnessed feats of piano playing probably never to be equalled, certainly never surpassed in their lifetime', and he 'combined the precision of a metronome with the electrical discharge of a thundestorm'. For the Paris press, 'he was greater than Horowitz and for Marcel Dupre, the great French organist, he was quite simply 'the reincarnation of Liszt'.

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EDVARD GRIEG 1843–1907
Piano Concerto in A minor op.16*
1 I Allegro molto moderato - 13.17
2 II Adagio - 6.05
3 III Allegro moderato molto e marcato - 10.05

FRANZ LISZT 1811–1886
Piano Concerto No.1 in E flat major S124†
4 I Allegro maestoso - 5.45
5 II Quasi adagio - 4.53
6 III Allegretto vivace – Allegro animato 4.11
7 IV Allegro marziale animato - 4.30
8 Fantasy on Hungarian Folk Themes S123† - 15.30

JEAN-BAPTISTE LULLY 1632–1687
9 Gavotte en rondeau in D minor - 2.21

DOMENICO SCARLATTI 1685–1757
10 Sonata in D major K96 ‘La Chasse’ - 2.30

GEORGES CZIFFRA piano
*†Orchestre National de l’ORTF
*Georges Tzipine · †André Cluytens
Recorded: Paris, 17 April 1959 (Grieg); Paris, 12 March 1959 (Liszt);
Luxembourg, 20 January 1959 (Lully & Scarlatti)

Grieg- Piano Concerto - III Allegro monderato molto e marcato

Grade 
Martin Kendrick
09/Aug/2013

“I cannot praise this disc too highly and if you do not know Cziffra you are indeed lucky to have this chance to hear him at the very peak of his powers.”

MusicWeb International

    Grade 
    Martin Kendrick
    09/Aug/2013

    “Both Cziffra and conductor Tzipine are here operating at white heat...the delicacy of his lyricism in the second movement is extraordinarily restrained, but then to hear the way he explodes in the last movement has the effect of a firecracker.”

    Fanfare

      Grade 
      Martin Kendrick
      09/Aug/2013

      “...this really is breathtakingly magical pianism.”

      ClassicalSource.com

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