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  • Grieg/ Liszt: Piano Concertos (Paris 1959) (Georges Cziffra/ Orchestre National de l'ORTF/ Georges Tzipine/ André Cluytens) (ICA  Classics: ICAC 5079)
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Grieg/ Liszt: Piano Concertos (Paris 1959) (Georges Cziffra/ Orchestre National de l'ORTF/ Georges Tzipine/ André Cluytens) (ICA Classics: ICAC 5079)


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Product details

  • Conductor: Georges Tzipine, André Cluytens
  • Composer: Grieg, Liszt, Lully, Scarlatti
  • Audio CD (3 Sept. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ICA Classics
  • ASIN: B008KA6MVI
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 354,310 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16: I. Allegro molto moderato13:17Album Only
Listen  2. Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16: II. Adagio 6:05£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16: III. Allegro moderato molto e marcato10:05Album Only
Listen  4. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat Major, S124/R455: Allegro maestoso 5:45£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat Major, S124/R455: Quasi adagio 4:53£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat Major, S124/R455: Allegretto vivace - Allegro animato 4:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat Major, S124/R455: Allegro marziale presto 4:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Fantasia on Hungarian Folk Themes, S123/R458, "Hungarian Fantasy"15:30Album Only
Listen  9. Gavotte en rondeau in D Minor 2:21£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Keyboard Sonata in D Major, K.96/L.465/P.210 2:30£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Hungarian born György Cziffra (19211994) was one of the most celebrated and individual piano virtuosos of the post-war 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 Hungarys Soviet-sponsored regime and was severely tortured. When he wasreleased in 1953, Cziffra started to record for the Qualiton and Supraphon labels (ICAC 5008) which began to circulate in Western Europe, propelling him to legendary status. When Russia invaded Hungary, Cziffra fled to Vienna making his debut there in November 1956, with outstanding success. Debuts elsewhere in Europe followed. Cziffra gained international stardom not without critical disfavour, adhering to a nineteenth-century approach to music that allowed for taking liberties with the texts. Cziffra settled in France. Heretired from recording in 1986 and left the concert platform in 1988. In the same year, France named him a cultural ambassador to a newly liberalised Hungary. He set up the Fondation Cziffra with his wife who runs it today.

The Grieg Concerto is typical of Cziffras startling and mercurial quality while the Liszt Concerto and Fantasy on Hungarian Folk Themes are very much in the style with which Liszt loved to tease and astonish his adoring audiences. (Bryce Morrison)

Cziffra always held miniatures in special affection the Lully Gavotte and Scarlatti Sonata K.96 are infused with all of his unique tangy brilliance and bravura. (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 Cziffra combined the precision of a metronome with the electrical discharge of a thunderstorm. For the Paris press, he was greater than Horowitz and for Marcel Dupré, the great French organist, he was quite simply the reincarnation of Liszt. As Bryce Morrison states, Either way, (Cziffra) hardly invites a middle course or compromise. Above all, you could never ignore this artist who occupies a unique place in the pianistic Parthenon.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By arffizc on 3 Sept. 2012
Format: Audio CD
These 'live' recordings date from 1959 just three years after Cziffra his wife and young son Gyorgy Jr. escaped the Soviet sponsored Hungarian communinst regime by foot trekking for two weeks over the border into Vienna. Cziffra's Danube flaming recital at the Brahmsaal caused a furore as did his Paris debut the following year in Liszt's first piano concerto. He became 'The Prince of Pianists,' 'the pianist with the leather wrist band' and the 'Reincarnation of Liszt' (Marcel Dupre). His concerto debut at London's Royal Festival Hall in September 1957 performing Liszt's Piano Concerto No.1, Hungarian Fanstasy and numerous encores caused an equal furore with audience and orchestra applauding and cheering for over 20 minutes! His performances of both the Grieg and Liszt concertos at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago were received with similar enthusiasm the critcs claiming that the piano smoked and that piano playing of this style and virtuosity hadn't been heard since the days of Josef Hofmann and Horowitz. Cziffra received a thunderous ovation in 1959 when he performed the same Liszt works at his Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchetra and Thomas Schippers (his debut with Leonard Bernstein in 1957 was cancelled due to Cziffra's indisposition). Cziffra was very fond of the Grieg concerto and recorded it three times - with the Hungarian State Orchestra and Zoltan Rozsnyai in 1956, the Philharmonia Orchestra and Andre Vandernoot in 1958 and lastly with his son Gyorgy Cziffra Jr. and the Budapest Symphony Orchestra in 1969. The performance here with the Orchestre National de l'ORTF under Georges Tzipine is both free wheeling and improvisatory, Cziffra sweeping through the big first movement cadenza and coda to the Finale like a fire ball.Read more ›
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Monique Arbaud on 10 April 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The one and only pianist of the 20th Century which performances have left all the others far from reaching his excellency. The way Georges was playing Liszt, and in this CD Grieg's Piano Concerto is absolutely unique and I was delighted to be able to add it to my collection of memories of a great friend sadly gone from our world too early, but which special achievement in Senlis, with the rebuilding and Restoration of the Royal Chapel will always stay with us in our hearts, we just have to go on You Tube and listen to him playing to be sure that he is and will always be alive through the music.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
CZIFFRA AT WHITE HEAT IN PARIS IN 1959. 10 Mar. 2013
By arffizc - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
These 'live' performances of Grieg's concerto and Liszt's first concerto alongside the Fantasy on Hungarian Folk Melodies date from Paris concerts given in 1959 just three years after Cziffra's escape to the West during the Hungarian insurrection. After two long weeks of foot trekking Cziffra his wife Soleilka and their thirteen year old son Gyorgy Jr. arrived in Vienna. His Danube flaming recital given at the Brahmsaal caused a sensation as did his first concerts in Paris when critics suggested he was greater than Horowitz. Here he performs Grieg's concerto with tremendous panache and exuberance especially in the opening movement's Lisztian style cadenza and the virtuoso passages in the Finale. Cziffra is also sensitive to Griegs's hauntingly wistful lyricism and to the delicate tracery of the lovely slow movement. The audience are kept on the edge of their collective seats throughout and they couldn't resist applauding after the first movement (omitted here) and there is an upsurge of enthusiastic applause even before the final chord has ended. This isn't surprising as Cziffra launches into the coda of the Finale as if being chased by demons. Liszt's concerto is played with style, energy and bravado. The slow movement is beautifully phrased with a lovely cantabile tone quality and with just the right amount of rubato while the scherzo is performed with a pleasingly playful touch and variety of dynamics. The Hungarian Fantasy sounds like an improvisation and Cziffra adds flourishes that Liszt forgot. The audience responds yet again by bursting into applause before the final chord has ended. Cziffra's encores by Lully and Scarlatti from an earlier concert that year are delightful and show that Cziffra could scale down his gargantuan technique accordingly. Considering that these were broadcast performances from over fifty years ago, the sound quality is very good. At times, there is a lack of clarity when piano and orchestra are playing together but Cziffra's playing has great presence. A wonderful memento of this great pianist.
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