Favorite Cziffra performances

#1

da :ziff: is still one of my favorite pianists in certain rep.

here iz my liszt of all time fave :ziff: recz

Scarlatti sons: 1955 Prague studio

Liszt:
Fant on BACH (Torino 1959)
Dante Sonata (Torino 1959)
Spanish Rhapsody (Torino 1959)
Gnomenreigen Paris 1963 (VID)
Grand Galop: Tokyo 1964 (VID)
Totentanz (1962 live with Benzi)
Rhapsody 2 (Prague 1955)
Rhapsody 6 (1962 BBC VID)
Rhapsodies 12, 15, 19 (Hungaroton 50s’)
Fantasy on La Muette (Hungaroton 50’s)

Chopin Concerto No. 1 (4.22.1967 VID)
Schumann Toccata (BBC 1962 VID)

#2

Do you have that Chopin PC vid? I’m interested

#3

My by far favorite Cziffra recording is the Zurich 1978 rehearsal his son recorded. The feeling I have is that Cziffra was very “aware” of his audience and always felt (or wanted) he had to impress or entertain, so it’s a joy to hear him here in a relaxed state, just playing for himself and for the fun of it. In spite of all repeats, rhythmizations etc, I think the playing is absolutely heavenly.

As to “real performances” however - and this is from a non-Cziffra maniac so I might very well forget things I haven’t heard in 15 years - what spring to mind are:

  • HR8, stereo rec
  • RK/Cziffra Bumblebee, Paris 1957
  • Liszt/Auber and Liszt/Gounod, EMI 1958 (recorded back to back during the same session)
  • Grand Galop Chromatique, London 1963 (or Tokyo 1964, whichever)
  • Gnomenreigen… not sure which rec, it’s a relatively late one
#4

For me the live Schumann F# minor sonata and the studio les jeux d’eaux à la villa d’Este.

#5

I forgot to mention the Hungarian Fantasy, from either Carnegie 58 or the Milan 1959 broadcast.

#6

I prefer to listen to Cziffra up to 1967, preferably live…

#7

The Gounod/Liszt Faust, the Benzi Totentanz (obviously). Some of the live HR6s are incredible.
The Strauss paraphrases, but especially the Zigeunerbaron; he emanates such joy in his mu*ic-making here.
Il Trovatore.
The William Tell is both crazy and extremely funny in places.

#8

the one where he totally smears out the final theme climax? cause i love that one

#9

welcome back festin and Anima!

as for the Gnomenreigen - I happen to love his early Hungaroton studio rec of that as well, so classic and pretty…
the 1963 VID iz awesome too.

#10

Maybe! I still haven’t looked in to which one it is I’m thinking about (if I’m thinking about Cziffra at all…)

#11

The best Gnomenreigen is still Barere, Cziffra, Rachmaninoff, Lipatti

Probably in that order too. There are like 10 Barere recs of it

#12

Richter’s gnomenreigen is amazing too. Arrau also.

#13

I’m also partial to Arrau’s, though randomly I don’t particularly like the piece.

#14

There’s not much you can do with it really - I think just about anyone who “can” play it play it pretty well. The standouts for me are those who really transcend virtuosity - Cziffra & Grosvenor primarily (if you can cope with the latter’s liberties) - but Arrau, Rach, Pletnev etc etc are excellent too.

#15

I completely forgot Richter’s wonderful performances.

I love Gnomenreigen…
even a random tiny piece like that or Grand Galop shows Liszt’s supreme mastery of form. The proportions just sound… right.

#16

I think it’s Liszt excellent dramatic sense. He almost always knows the right amount to say.

#17

Ya’ll missed Benjamin Grosvenor’s gnome thing… Its my favorite of the coked up versions

#18

youtube.com/watch?v=p65tqUSfK-M

LIve

rec

youtube.com/watch?v=lxtkOd6gGkM

#19

reading full post next time lol

#20

Yeah. :wink: Not as big a BG fan as I should be, but he does this one quite well. Lots of detail, and impeccable technically.