Cziffra in Prague 1955

ica classics: ICAC5008

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Cziffra in Prague 1955

Catalogue No:

ICAC5008

Series:

Legacy

Discs:

1

Release date:

7th Feb 2011

Barcode:

5060244550087

Length:

64 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Cziffra in Prague 1955


Bach, C P E:

Andantino in B minor

Prague 1955

Couperin, F:

Les moissonneurs

Prague 1955

Liszt:

Fantasy & Fugue in G minor (J S Bach BWV542) for piano, S463

Turin, 22 January 1959

Funérailles (Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, S. 173 No. 7)

Turin, 22 January 1959

Hungarian Rhapsody, S244 No. 2 in C sharp minor

Prague 1955

Rhapsodie espagnole, S254

Prague 1955

Scarlatti, D:

Keyboard Sonata K159 in C major 'La caccia'

Prague 1955

Keyboard Sonata K446 in F major

Keyboard Sonata K259 in G major

Keyboard Sonata K533 in A major

Keyboard Sonata K284 in G major

Prague 1955


CD

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Hungarian born Georges Cziffra (1921-1994) was a pianistic phenomenon. After trying to escape Hungary’s Soviet regime, his early years were spent undergoing hard labour which injured his hands.

Following his release from prison in 1953, the Ministry of Culture arranged tours of Switzerland and Czechoslovakia. In 1954, he made his ‘first’ recording in Hungary and in 1955 in Prague, the source of this recital. He won the Liszt Prize in the same year. In 1956 he made a successful bid for freedom, arriving in Vienna, and was signed by EMI in France where his subsequent concerts created a furore.

This recital has never been issued before on CD. It is extremely rare having been remastered from a collector’s LP.

The recital contains miniatures – CPE Bach, Scarlatti and Couperin as well as the Liszt warhorses which Cziffra became famous for. Out of the four Scarlatti Sonatas, Cziffra includes three in F, G and A that are new to his discography.

The recital is totally free from eccentricity and represents the pianist at his best.

The two bonus tracks come from a 1959 recital in Turin which show off his dazzling technique. The Bach arr. Liszt: Fantasy & Fugue has never appeared on CD before.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Keyboard Sonata in B minor, Wq. 55/3, H. 245

Keyboard Sonata in B minor, Wq. 55/3, H. 245: Cantabile

Domenico Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonata in F major, K.446/L.433/P.177

Keyboard Sonata in F major, K. 446/L.433/P.177

Domenico Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonata in C major, K.159/L.104/P.418

Keyboard Sonata in C major, K.159/L.104/P.418

Domenico Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonata in A major, K.533/L.395/P.537

Keyboard Sonata in A major, K.533/L.395/P.537

Domenico Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonata in G major, K.284/L.90/P.169

Keyboard Sonata in G major, K.284/L.90/P.169

Francois Couperin: Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 6th Ordre in B flat major

Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 6th Ordre in B flat major: Les Moissonneurs (gayement)

Franz Liszt: Rhapsodie espagnole, S254/R90, "Folies d'Espagne et jota aragonesa"

Rhapsodie espagnole, S254/R90, "Folies d'Espagne et jota aragonesa"

Franz Liszt: 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106

19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106: No. 2 in C sharp minor

Franz Liszt: Fantasy and Fugue, S463/R120 (after Bach's Fantasia and fugue in G minor, BWV 542)

Fantasy and Fugue, S463/R120 (after Bach's Fantasia and fugue in G minor, BWV 542)

Franz Liszt: Harmonies poetiques et religieuses, S173/R14

Harmonies poetiques et religieuses, S173/R14: VII. Funerailles

BBC Music Magazine

June 2011

*****

“Cziffra's potent combination of gypsy-like abandon with absolute control of rubato and cumulative build-up makes for very exciting listening.”

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