Cziffra on Meloclassic CD

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Philip M
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Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:38 am

Cziffra on Meloclassic CD

Post by Philip M » Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:36 am

I have been listening to a recital by Georges Cziffra from the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées given on 29th January 1960. It is on the Meloclassic label.

It opens with Beethoven’s little F Major Sonata Op.54. I’ve long loved this gem of a sonata. It was a favourite of Richter, who played it in one of Carnegie Hall debut recitals in the same year as the Cziffra recital. It’s the perfect recital opener. Cziffra plays it with attention to detail and careful balancing of the 2 hands. Indeed it is a very “careful” performance. It’s not his fault though that Richter owns this Sonata for me.

Schumann’s Fachingsschwank aus Wien follows, another favourite of mine. For me Michelangeli rules supreme here, especially memories of his RFH performance in 1973. How the left hand chords resonate with ABM, in a way that eludes everyone else. What Cziffra does very differently though is the third Scherzo movement. It is almost à la Queen Mab, it is so light and flighty. I’ve never heard it played that way before, but it really works.

The rest of the recital finds Cziffra playing like only he can. It’s breath-taking. Schumann’s Op.7 Toccata, taken at high speed yet every note can be heard, then a batch of Liszt: Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este, Valse-Impromptu, Gnomenreigen (ghostly will o’ the wisps), Transcendental Étude No.10 and a sensational Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 to end. Stunning.

The audience are ecstatic throughout.

It is on MC1014 and can be obtained from their website https://www.meloclassic.com. But note that they currently cannot ship to some countries, notably to you poor Americans (!). Melo are based in the Far East (Thailand?).

One further point - all these works are rarely played in recitals these days. That is sad. Brung them back, I say...

Philip

Rach3
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Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

Re: Cziffra on Meloclassic CD

Post by Rach3 » Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:31 pm

Philip M wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:36 am
Schumann’s Fachingsschwank aus Wien follows, another favourite of mine. For me Michelangeli rules supreme here, especially memories of his RFH performance in 1973. How the left hand chords resonate with ABM, in a way that eludes everyone else.
Thanks.A fav Schumann of mine, as well. I have a Brilliant Classics cd recording ABM made of the work in 1968 at Lugano Festival I believe , very fine, although probably not the same experience as yours in the hall.Richter also made a fine recording of the work , live in Italy in 1962,for EMI, mine the Angel lp as issued here in the States.Have not heard Cziffra's.

Here is another Cziffra cd of mine , 1973 live radio broadcasts you may want to consider.He had slowed a bit by then, but just a bit,and many individual touches throughout.Hopefully it's available cheaply somewhere:

https://www.amazon.com/Georges-Cziffra- ... sic&sr=1-1

maestrob
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Re: Cziffra on Meloclassic CD

Post by maestrob » Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:45 pm

Amazon has gotten really aggressive with their pricing on certain historical CDs, even on used copies. Whenever possible, I purchase from other sources now. Amazon thinks and acts like they are some sort of monopoly, but thankfully they are not quite in that position yet. Just like our telephone company, Bell Telephone, was broken up decades ago by the government, I think the time has come to consider breaking up amazon into regional companies as well.

Rach3
Posts: 2010
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

Re: Cziffra on Meloclassic CD

Post by Rach3 » Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:47 pm

Philip M wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:36 am
For me Michelangeli rules supreme here, especially memories of his RFH performance in 1973.
Fww:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB2YlpTTSrI (ABM, live,RFH London, 1957,audio only )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZcorPCjdfw (Cziffra, Hungary,1983,live video, as an encore ?!)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq9FSyVtA-Q (Richter, live video,Moscow, 1980’s ? )

1st prize : ABM
2nd prize: Cziffra

Philip M
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:38 am

Re: Cziffra on Meloclassic CD

Post by Philip M » Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:44 pm

That 1983 Cziffra scherzo is about half the speed and twice the weight of the 1960 one.

I agree - Richter never convinced me in this piece.

I think I have the 1973 RFH ABM performances somewhere...it was not broadcast but I guess someone taped it in the hall. Must dig it out.

Rach3
Posts: 2010
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

Re: Cziffra on Meloclassic CD

Post by Rach3 » Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:26 pm

Philip M wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:44 pm
That 1983 Cziffra scherzo is about half the speed and twice the weight of the 1960 one.
Indeed : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNgGh-K3aSI

Lance
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Re: Cziffra on Meloclassic CD

Post by Lance » Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:35 am

Philip M wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:36 am
It is on MC1014 and can be obtained from their website https://www.meloclassic.com. But note that they currently cannot ship to some countries, notably to you poor Americans (!). Melo are based in the Far East (Thailand?).
Philip
Philip, I have that Melo Classics CD and have long enjoyed it. Cziffra is among my favourite pianists. Before she passed, I had some good correspondence with his wife." I've got about 35 of the Melo CDs and they introduced md to some great musicians, such as Marian Filar. There is an excellent Cherkassky disc, Edith Farnadi and a host of other ones such as Rosl Schmid, Firkusny, Artur Rubinstein, Uninsky, Brailowsky, Wuhrer, and some outstanding string players. A lovely catalogue. I am eagerly awaiting for Melos to start shipping again. I plan to program a number of their discs for radio.
Thank you for bringing up this excellent label.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Philip M
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Re: Cziffra on Meloclassic CD

Post by Philip M » Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:57 am

Yes a superb little known label. Any idea who owns them?

Re the 1960 v 1983 Faschingsswanks, the radically different Scherzos are a classic example of why we keep on hearing the same pianist play the same piece over and over again in different performnces, a concept that non music lovers cannot understand!

Lance
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Re: Cziffra on Meloclassic CD

Post by Lance » Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:00 pm

I do not know who is responsible for the label productions or owners. You are so right about Schumann's Faschingschwank ... I feel the same way about Schubert's Moment musicaux. Among the best performances of that, IMHO, is the one recorded by Rudolf Serkin in his mono-era discs, but there are many great recordings of both of those pieces.
Philip M wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:57 am
Yes a superb little known label. Any idea who owns them?

Re the 1960 v 1983 Faschingsschwanks, the radically different Scherzos are a classic example of why we keep on hearing the same pianist play the same piece over and over again in different performnces, a concept that non music lovers cannot understand!
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

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