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Liszt: Oeuvres pour Piano / Piano Works Box set, Import

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Audio CD, Box set, Import, March 1, 2005
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Product Details

  • Composer: Franz Liszt
  • Audio CD (March 1, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set, Import
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B00005IA06
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476,050 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Rhaps Hongroises: No.1 in E
2. Rhaps Hongroises: No.2 in c#
3. Rhaps Hongroises: No.3 in B flat
4. Rhaps Hongroises: No.4 in E flat
See all 9 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Rhaps Hongroises: No.10 in E 'Prld'
2. Rhaps Hongroises: No.11 in a
3. Rhaps Hongroises: No.12 in c#
4. Rhaps Hongroises: No.13 in a
See all 7 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Douze Etudes D'execution Transcendant: No.1 in C 'Prld'
2. Douze Etudes D'execution Transcendant: No.2 in a 'Fusees'
3. Douze Etudes D'execution Transcendant: No.3 in F 'Paysage'
4. Douze Etudes D'execution Transcendant: No.4 in d 'Mazeppa'
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Mephisto-Valse, D'apres Le Faust De Lenau, 'Der Tanz in Der Dorfschenke'
2. Annees De Pelerinage, III: L'Italie: Les Jeux D'eau A La villa D'Este
3. Valse Oubliee No.1 in F#
4. Valse-Impromptu in A flat
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 5
1. Ballade No.2 in b
2. Polonaise No.1 in c
3. Saint Francois D'Assise: La Predication Aux Oiseaux, Legende No.1
4. Saint Francois De Paule Marchant Sur Les Flots, Legende No.2
See all 5 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Throughout his long and distinguished career Georges Cziffra arguably has championed Franz Liszt more than any other pianist of the 20th century. Like the composer, Cziffra was a virtuoso who understood that the score is just a point of departure and that the impact of the performance depends more so on the depth of interpreters imagination and skill. While many have performed these seminal works over the years few are as dazzling, insightful, and simply stylish as this fiery Hungarian. Brace yourself.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Alan Thorpe on May 11, 2003
Format: Audio CD
When Georges Cziffra escaped to Vienna during the Hungarian uprising of 1956, his debut recital at the Brahmsaal caused such a sensation that news of the event reached The New Yorker. At his Paris debut the following month Cziffra received ovations never witnessed within living memory while his London debut at the Royal Festival Hall in 1957 caused a furore. Cziffra played Liszt's first concerto and Hungarian Fantasy followed by 10 encores that brought the house down and had critics searching for their most colourful superlatives. When I heard Cziffra play these works with the Halle Orchestra under George Weldon in February 1959 the Manchester audience were spellbound and demanded encore after dazzling encore.
On these EMI reissues of Cziffra's Liszt playing from 1956 to 1986 we can hear the reason for such adulation. Cziffra's recordings of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies from his heyday in the late 1950s are stunning. But they are much more than that. We can take for granted the scintillating virtuosity, bravado and gypsy swagger of the second Rhapsody; No.8 'Capriccio', No.9 'Carnaval de Pesth', and No.15 'Marche de Rakoczy'; but Cziffra also captures the yearning sadness and passion of the grief laden climax of No.5 (a funeral march) while bringing delicate nuancies, light and shade to Liszt's lyrical pages. In the Transcendental Studies too, his playing of No.2 in A minor, 'Mazeppa', 'Wilde Jagd', and 'Feux follets', are electrifying, yet Cziffra brings a simple beauty to 'Paysage'; grandeaur to 'Vision'; soaring lyricism to the 'Appasionata' study and in 'Ricordanza', arpeggios and cadenzas that shimmer like star dust.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Scott L. Leather on July 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This set is of mostly mono recordings from the 1950s which present Cziffra at his best. Included are the Hungarian Rhapsodies which in this first of his two complete sets is preferable to the later version by many people. The playing is spectacular even if it mostly is in mono. (The B Minor sonata is in stereo).

Cziffra has a way of making music so it seems like you've never heard the piece before. He has that magic elixir of charisma, sense of timing and excitement that made him the stellar artist he was.

The sound, even though mono, is excellent and the mastering as well. I've found, personally, by simulating stereo on my Creative Soundblaster Audigy card and 5.1 creative inspire speaker system, it sounds almost like a new recording.

Don't miss this set. Besides being a comprehensive review of Cziffra's Liszt repetoire it is also a bargain.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Heald on April 8, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is one of those discs that falls into the "must-buy" category for all piano afficionados. It stands as a great testament to a pianist who absolutely deserves to be mentioned in the same breath (and then some!) as Horowitz, Michelangeli and Richter.
In terms of virtuosity the playing is spell-binding throughout(as you would expect from Cziffra), but it is never overblown, with poetic phrasing and romanitc expression always to the fore. If you only listen to one piece in the whole set (and I guarantee that will not be the case!), let it be the B minor sonata- an awesomely powerful, heart-on-the-sleeve rendition of arguably the greatest solo piece in the piano literature.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON VINE VOICE on July 21, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Tamas Vasary tells us how he once overheard what he thought must be a four-handed ensemble, only to find that it was Cziffra on his own. That's the kind of virtuoso Cziffra is. The obvious comparison he invites is with Horowitz, but there is a completely different 'feel' to Cziffra's playing. It does not have the french-polished smoothness that I associate with Michelangeli or Gould or (on the right day) Richter, but Horowitz was not like that either. There is less tension in Cziffra's playing, and a great deal less self-consciousness. Very often indeed I get the feeling that Cziffra does not even know how good he is, something you could never say about Horowitz. In particular he has an endearing way of finishing some mind-numbing exhibition of bravura with a matter-of-fact 'that's that'. The technical quality of his playing, any of it that I know, is invariable. What does vary quite a lot is the sense of motivation in it, and I'm happy to report that on these 5 discs the index of gusto and swagger is very high. In the Hungarian rhapsodies particularly (there are 15 here numbered sequentially 1-15 although I have heard alarming rumours there may be more of them) I get a sense of the fairground entertainer, whereas with Horowitz the impression is always of the concert platform.

The music in this set is the work of a player I like inordinately and a composer I don't like very much. Nowhere at all in Liszt do I sense the divine afflatus that blew so strongly down on half-a-dozen of his contemporaries. He seems to me to try, through aspiration and perspiration and in an ersatz and manufactured way, to emulate what was given to his friends from on high as inspiration.
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