Georges Cziffra

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Cziffra, Georges

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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Catalogue Number: ICAC 5079 , Artist:

Description

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’.