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Liszt: Complete Hungarian Rhapsodies Original recording remastered

4.1 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Liszt: Complete Hungarian Rhapsodies
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  • Liszt: The Complete Etudes
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Description Available.
Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Rating:
Release Date: 12-OCT-1993

Amazon.com

Whatever happened to these highly enjoyable works? They seem to have dropped off the face of the pianistic earth. Everyone in the universe knows the Second Hungarian Rhapsody, if only from the famous Bugs Bunny cartoon (remember, the one with the mouse in the piano?), and several of these pieces exist in orchestral versions as well. But very few pianists seem to be playing them anymore, and recordings are even more rare. It's a pity, because they remain among the most entertaining and successful pieces that Liszt wrote. This complete set is easily the finest available, and its reissue at two discs for the price of one makes it even more desirable. --David Hurwitz
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Product Details

  • Performer: Michele Campanella
  • Composer: Franz Liszt
  • Audio CD (October 12, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B00000416M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,196 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I have owned this collection for over 30 years (my mother got it for me when I was only 10) and it is and always will be the standard by which I judge all others. The fact that it is the standard does not make it automatically the best, just the standard.

What is undeniable is MR. Campanella's skill and talent. Many of these pieces can best be described as fiendish by Mr. Liszt's victims (among them myself). Mr. Campanella escapes our fate and if Franz were around to hear it he would no doubt congratulate Campanella for having the courage to take them all on and the forebearance/talent to succeed admirably on virtually every level.

I doubt very seriously that if this session was so awful that Philips/Decca would have bothered to keep it in continuous production for so long or to have reissued it on CD. If they had included the original copious liner notes from the vinyl pressing there would be no doubt in anyone's mind as to Michele's gender. But while this is a "budget" offering with smaller liner notes, etc. it still holds an embarassment of riches and remains a notable standard.

It is definitely worth a listen. It continues to bring me enjoyment after all these years.
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By ari r. on September 1, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I think this version is awesome. The Campanella's performance is warm, frenzy, full of passion, intense, melancholic... everytime I listen to the rhapsody no. 2 my head is shooked....... though, the sound quality could be better (mainly on the disc 2), but I think the playing is outstanding, just as Liszt has to be played.

Only comparable to the Cziffra's version.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I should first say that I never heard Liszt play these so I don't know how the performance rates with the Composer's.

In fact, I don't know that I've heard ANYONE play the full set, other than Campanella.

I cannot find fault with a performer for his technical excellence, and Campanella clearly has the technical aspects of these pieces nailed. I do have numerous other performances of the pieces individually, and I would say that Campanella's are at least as musical as the others, e.g., Bolet and Perahia.

While a person can argue that one is more musical than the other, it would be very difficult to conclude that one is SUBSTANTIALLY more musical. And Campanella's technical ability is clearly unmatched by other performers. Thus, giving Campanella the nod is not difficult for me (in fairness, I don't recall having heard a Horowitz performance of any of these, so I obviously don't have all the information).

I first received this set on LP as part of an offering from the "International Preview Society" -- a set which included other music (transcendental etudes, I believe). I had wanted these on CD, and was most pleased to discover they were available as I had not seen them until recently.

I generally prefer to purchase individual performances over a box such as this one; however, in this case, the performances are excellent, and I certainly believe anyone interested in owning a full set of the Hungarian Rhapsodies will appreciate these.

Five stars.
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Format: MP3 Music
Individual legendary performances of the Hungarian Rhapsodies abound nowadays (I probably have a dozen golden-age recordings of number 2). But finding a recording that is both complete and reasonably consistent across both the famous and obscure numbers is not easy (Cziffra only plays a selection). I have learned to love many lesser-known rhapsodies from this set, and to me the understated literalness has allowed it to wear well, especially when hearing a number of the pieces at one sitting. Continuous dazzle can also be boring; Campanella prioritizes his climaxes to heighten impact. It is odd that someone selected number 15 to trash; I learned this piece from Percy Grainger's 1922 recording but Campanella beats the pants off him. If you have a full set you enjoy, stick with it. If you don't, you should get to know the rest of these imaginative pieces, and Campanella is a trustworthy guide.
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Format: Audio CD
First, for the record (pun intended), I haven't heard this CD set, actually; I have the equivalent LP set.

Look, I'm not one of these purists who thinks all LPs are better than the equivalent CDs. Quite the contrary, I think the DDD CD is the best music delivery device available today. But the LP version of this set is one of the best LP versions of any piece of solo piano music I've ever heard by any composer. Philips had a well-earned reputation of producing excellent LPs. But there's another reason for getting the LP version. There's a bonus disc in the 4-LP set that has 4 opera paraphrases on it, from Norma, Faust, Eugene Onegin, and Le Prophete. Since 3 LPs have about the same amount of music as 2 CDs, the publisher no doubt decided to drop the bonus disc for the CD set. I must say there is no indication on the box or paperwork of the existence of the bonus disc, so maybe someone just shoved it in to my copy, which I bought used.

As far as the playing is concerned, I think Campenella is an excellent player. It's a matter of taste, to be sure, but I cannot fathom how anyone could find his playing dry or metronomic. On the contrary, I COULD see where someone would find his handling of the loud passages too robust, smashing, trying to prove something by showing us how hard he can play. Indeed he sometimes seems to hit the keys so hard you think he's going to break a string. But all I can say about that is that I just like it. And, his handling of the softer passages is sensitive and, to my thinking, captures Liszt's intent.

In saying all this, of course, I'm assuming the tracking of the remastered CD presents a similar sound to that of the LP.

If there is anyone who's heard both, feel free to comment.
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