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Hungarian-born Géza Anda (1921–1976) was described by the conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler as ‘a troubadour of the piano’ whose early death robbed the world of one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century. Anda was an incredible virtuoso, who in 1957 played all the Bartók concertos in one concert but also took up a different challenge by performing and recording all the Mozart piano concertos later in his life. He performed with all the major orchestras and conductors of the time, including Boulez, Fricsay, Karajan, Kubelík and Solti, and made a large number of definitive recordings for EMI and Deutsche Grammophon of music by Brahms, Chopin, Liszt and especially Schumann.
This spine-tingling account of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 has never been issued before. It is a ‘live’ studio recording from 1958 with the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra accompanied by Georg Solti, a fellow Hungarian, and the performance generates enormous electricity between the two artists.
The live recording from 1954 of Brahms’s Piano Concerto No.2 conducted by Otto Klemperer has been issued before but it has been newly remastered for this release. It qualifies for a re-release on the basis that it is one the most recommendable versions of the work and should never be out of the catalogue.
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23
I. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso - Allegro con spirito
II. Andantino semplice - Prestissimo - Tempo I
III. Allegro con fuoco
Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Allegro appassionato
IV. Allegretto grazioso
25th June 2013
“Although almost sixty years old these two works are heard in reasonably good sound with the Brahms having the slight edge. They will be required listening for those who, like myself, are Anda devotees.”