GYÖRGY CZIFFRA · The Besançon Recital in 1961
BEETHOVEN: 7 Variations on God Save the King, WoO 78
SCHUMANN: Piano Sonata No 1 in F-sharp Minor, Op 11
SCHUMANN: Toccata in C Major, Op 7
CHOPIN: Fantaisie in F Minor, Op 49
CHOPIN: Polonaise in A-flat Major, Op 53
LISZT: Étude No 5 in B-flat Major «Feux follets», HS 139/5
LISZT: Hungarian Rhapsody No 6 in D-flat Major, HS 244/6
Recorded ∙ 16 September 1961 ∙ Besançon ∙ Théâtre Municipal ∙ RTF ∙ Live Recording
Article number: MC 1046
UPC barcode: 791154054499
Release date: 16 July 2019
Booklet: 8 Pages
Total timing: 75:12
From the Original Masters ∙ © 2019 Meloclassic
November 2019 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ György Cziffra ∙ The Besançon Recital in 1961
Here we have a live recital that György Cziffra gave on 16 September 1961 at the Théâtre municipal de Besançon. Most of the programme is the sort of repertoire the pianist favoured. Radio announcements bookend the recital, and audience applause is retained. Schumann’s Piano Sonata No 1 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 11 is the most substantial work here. Cziffra’s performance is utterly compelling, one of the finest I have heard. In a recording dusted down from the archives of Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (RTF), the sound quality is exceptionally fine.
December 2019 ∙ British Gramophone ∙ Rob Cowan ∙ György Cziffra ∙ The Besançon Recital in 1961
One of Liszt’s most dazzling 20th-century exponents was György Cziff ra (MC1046), and though some Liszt is included in a 1961 Besançon recital, the highlights are by Schumann (Toccata; Sonata No 1) and Chopin (F minor Fantasy; A flat Polonaise). This is barnstorming pianism, often beefed up with augmented chords. It may potentially be subject to the law of diminishing returns, in terms of appreciation, but it has an undeniably high wow factor.
December 2019 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ György Cziffra ∙ The Besançon Recital in 1961
Cziffra was nearly 40 when he gave this recital in Besançon in 1961. It was nevertheless only relatively soon after he had been, in effect, discovered, after wartime privation, playing a regular job in a café in Budapest. Further studies led to recitals in the mid-50s before his breakthrough, his prizewinning performance at the 1955 International Liszt Piano Competition. He also demonstrated in his repertoire that he was attuned to the romantic complexities and ambivalences of Schumann quite as much as to the stormier roulades of his virtuoso repertoire. So it proves in Schumann’s First Sonata, Op.11, which is compellingly resolved and beautifully textured. The recording quality is splendid as are the customarily excellent booklet notes. This notably fine recital shows the fire and the poetry at the heart of Cziffra’s art.
February 2020 ∙ French Classica ∙ Jean-Charles Hoffelé ∙ György Cziffra ∙ The Besançon Recital in 1961
Beethoven encore, avec qui György Cziffra s’amuse aux Variations sur « God Save the King », avant d’assombrir son clavier dans une Sonate no 1 de Schumann tres composée jusque dans la complexe narration du finale, ajout majeur à sa discographie. Le reste, Schumann, Chopin et Liszt, n’est que pur brio.
February 2020 ∙ French Diapason ∙ Bertrand Boissard ∙ György Cziffra ∙ The Besançon Recital in 1961
Le récital donné au théâtre de Besançon le 16 septembre 1961 par un Georges Cziffra possédé culmine dans une Toccata de Schumann dont les décharges électriques vous clouent sur place, une Fantaisie de Chopin inhabituellement explosive et une Polonaise héroïque qui a rarement si bien porté son nom. N’est-ce pas le diable lui-méme qui commande à la Rhapsodie hongroise no 6 de Liszt?