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10 Hungarian Rhaps

Franz Liszt Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 36.95
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Product Details

1. Hungarian Rhaps, S.244: No.2 in c#
2. Hungarian Rhaps, S.244: No.6 in D flat
3. Hungarian Rhaps, S.244: No.8 in f#
4. Hungarian Rhaps, S.244: No.9 in E flat 'Carnival In Pest'
5. Hungarian Rhaps, S.244: No.10 in E
6. Hungarian Rhaps, S.244: No.11 in a
7. Hungarian Rhaps, S.244: No.12 in c#
8. Hungarian Rhaps, S.244: No.13 in a
9. Hungarian Rhaps, S.244: No.14 in f
10. Hungarian Rhaps, S.244: No.15 in a

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cziffra ROCKS! Jan. 17 2003
Format:Audio CD
This was one of my favorite recordings as a child--it was made in the Sixties, and is digitally remastered here on CD. I must have listened to that old vinyl recording until the grooves were transparent. It is so wonderful to have it on CD so I can enjoy it once more.
I am not actually a huge fan of Liszt--but my Mom was and is. Her favorite piece that she played on our piano was Hungarian Rhapsody #6, and our whole family loved to listen to this recording for its insane tempi, the rhythmic variations and pure fire in the expression. Would that we could ever play a tenth as well as Cziffra.
Cziffra, who was a Hungarian Gypsy (Rom, more properly) had a career that read like an adventure novel. He was imprisoned during the war, made to carry bricks and mortar hods with those precious hands. He ended up in Paris, playing in jazz clubs (now that would have been something to hear!) His life was never easy, though he did enjoy, finally, monstrous popularity both in France and internationally.
This recording is perhaps the most characteristic of his playing, as the Rhapsodies are a fine canvas for exuberant expression and frank liberties not only with tempo and rhythm but even with the score itself. This is a recording that makes my heart palpitate every time I play it. It is over the top--but then, so was Liszt himself. Absolutely breathtaking.
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Format:Audio CD
First of all, buy this CD, for there is nothing like it in the world.
There is a certain style and technique that every composer demands of his performers. No performer is universally perfect, but some come closer to achieving the particular style of a given composer that other performers. Artur Schnabel, despite his clumsy fingerwork, gives us the definitive Beethoven interpretations with his broad-sighted view of the structure of the sonatas, combined with great rhythmic vitality and dynamic contrasts. Glenn Gould, despite his near-total oblivion to Baroque performance practice, gives us the most contrapuntally lucid, rhythmically and dynamically even, and inspiring readings of the Bach keyboard works ever recorded. And Gyorgy Cziffra, despite his outrageous fluctuations in tempo and alterations of the score, provides the most thrilling and technically dazzling plowing through of these 10 hungarian rhapsodies. Cziffra plays the hungarian rhapsodies extravertedly, with wit, finesse, THE greatest technique I have ever heard, occasionally with a tempo, and usually with what Liszt wrote. The last two comments are where contraversy arises. Cziffra added passages and notes into some of the rhapsodies that slightly change the flavor of the music, but it always sounds like Liszt. He also omits the fast scale near the end of number 15 (I don't know why; throughout he plays much harder scales brilliantly), but the performance does not suffer at all from his odd decisions. Also, Cziffra was trained in the 20s and 30s, when alterations of the score were very commonplace (the university had not yet become the primary patron of the music at that point; therefore the intellectual piety towards the composers' marks had not yet developped).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Hungarian Rhapsodies Dec 25 2001
Format:Audio CD
Hungarian Rhapsodies #2, #6, and #8~#15 total of 10 are included. Cziffra was one of the great pianists of the 20th Century and a unique super virtuoso player. Few pianists can match this kind of speed and energy, may be only Horowitz at his prime. Gramophone comment: "Cziffra, with his superb technique, Hungarian birthright and virtuoso flair, is the ideal exponent of this music."
These pieces were recorded in the early 70's and recently remastered by EMI Classics using Abbey Road Technology. It sounds to me like a digital recording. Excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dazzling Interpretations Nov. 9 2003
Format:Audio CD
Pardon the expression, but Cziffra plays those notes like a machine gun. The piano itself sounds great, however the sound is slightly metallic, possibly from remastering. I believe that Cziffra always travelled with his own piano (a Yamaha?).
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5.0 out of 5 stars The newest and best release Oct. 13 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Remastered with EMI's latest digital technology, these early 1970's performances stand as the definitive set of the Liszt Rhapsodies. Very good sound.
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