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Gyorgy Cziffra (Read 11520 times)

Offline MasterTuner

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Gyorgy Cziffra
« on: July 15, 2004, 06:07:02 AM »
I was wondering if anyone could give me a somewhat detailed biography of this pianist's life.  I haven't been able to find any detailed information on his life.  I am especially curious about his years of imprisonment and how he was able to make a comeback afterwards.  After listening to some of his Liszt recordings, I think he was just as good as Hororwitz.

Offline thracozaag

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Re: Gyorgy Cziffra
«Reply #1 on: July 15, 2004, 04:12:15 PM »
Quote
I was wondering if anyone could give me a somewhat detailed biography of this pianist's life.  I haven't been able to find any detailed information on his life.  I am especially curious about his years of imprisonment and how he was able to make a comeback afterwards.  After listening to some of his Liszt recordings, I think he was just as good as Hororwitz.


 Cziffra was among other things, a boxer, bouncer at a nightclub (as well as the pianist there) and a tank commander.  A thoroughly researched biography of his fascinating life (he had to learn to play the piano all over again after his fingers were broken in a concentration camp) is LONG overdue.

koji
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline BajoranD

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Re: Gyorgy Cziffra
«Reply #2 on: July 15, 2004, 08:21:37 PM »
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I was wondering if anyone could give me a somewhat detailed biography of this pianist's life.


I believe he can give that to you, himself, if you can find the book. Look for Cannons and Flowers: the memoirs of Georges Cziffra, written by the man himself. Only problem is that it's out of print. I found one fairly expensive edition that includes a CD at www.abebooks.com, and a slightly less expensive edition (but without the CD, I think) at www.amazon.co.uk. Or, you can try your local used book stores. Hope this helps.  :)

Offline maxy

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Re: Gyorgy Cziffra
«Reply #3 on: July 16, 2004, 06:28:46 AM »
search the net!  there are some sites on Cziffra!
Funny typo: Hororwitz!!!

Cziffra is a monster! One of the best pianists ever! If you can find it, listen to his recording of the 1st Chopin Concerto.  No technical resistance... pure music.

Offline MasterTuner

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Re: Gyorgy Cziffra
«Reply #4 on: July 16, 2004, 07:17:33 AM »
Thanks, I found an edition of the book at Amazon UK.  
Sorry about the typo:Horowitz, I don't think the Maestro would have appreciated that, or maybe he would.... :)

Offline cziffra

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Re: Gyorgy Cziffra
«Reply #5 on: July 20, 2004, 05:09:24 AM »
Cziffra was one of those men who to us ordinary mortals simply astonish- what he was able to achieve under the conditions in which he lived is about a hundred times greater than what other pianists can achieve under perfectly fine and acceptable conditions!

To start with, he was born into dire, atrocious poverty, living with his family in a single room in a gypsy style camp.  By the good fortune of his sister being able to speak french, and therefore convincing her employer at the place she scrubbed dishes, that she was cultural, she was able to earn enough money to buy a piano, which she desperately wanted to learn.  she commited earneslty to the daily regiment of scales and arpeggios and so on, while cziffra, who was a very ill child most of the time, watched from his bed.  he became fascinated, and no sooner could he sit at the piano did he practice through the scales and arpeggios as his sister did.  but for cziffra, he could never get enough.  he practiced and played and improvised so much he was invited to improvise at the circus when he was 5.  needless to say his sister soon lost the will to practice.  

by a strange incident he relates in his book, he found himself auditioning to the head of the Franz Liszt Academy in budapest, who was so startled by the boys prowess he took him in, the youngest ever member, at 9 yuears old (i think, anyway.)  

the story becomes ever more fascinating, as koji hinted, but unfortunately i've got to go and start practicing...
What it all comes down to is that one does not play the piano with one’s fingers; one plays the piano with one’s mind.-  Glenn Gould