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Topic: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]  (Read 12360 times)

Offline everran

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This performance given by Georges Cziffra took place September 20, 1962 in Montreux, France, under conductor Roberto Benzi with the Orch. National de la RTF. The live recording was never commercially released and is not available in any box set. Neither is it available in full on YouTube, or anywhere else, it appears. It was forwarded to me from a friend's hard-drive collection.

The program was: Grieg Concerto in A minor and Liszt's Totentanz, with an encore being the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6. As those familiar with this pianist will tell you, Cziffra's live performances differ a great deal from his studio recordings, which further diminished with the sudden death of his son, Cziffra Jr. The significance of this concert is that, so I believe, Cziffra gives the single greatest performance of his life and, almost by definition, one of the greatest ever. It truly has to be heard to be believed, particularly the Totentanz where he not only plays at mind-boggling speeds but openly improvises. The orchestra is also stunning.

Due to the constraints of the Piano Street forum I am limited to uploading 4 attachments, which means the encore has been posted separately. I would love to hear your reactions to these recordings. My personal experience upon hearing this rendition of Totentanz was one of genuine astonishment. A rare thing, indeed.
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Offline everran

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Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6
Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 04:07:35 AM
I've attached that encore here.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert
Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 04:11:56 AM
Many thanks for posting this.  :D
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline everran

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert
Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 05:54:00 AM
Sure thing! Boy, I searched everywhere for this. I even attempted to contact Roberto Benzi, who apparently is still alive. The man who hosts this very interesting web page on classical music, which escapes me at the moment, ultimately sent me the files after I contacted him on a whim. I'm amazed this concert has never been commercially released. After I received the files I sent an email to Pearl Records. No response.

Offline louis_james_alfred

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert
Reply #4 on: January 03, 2013, 12:20:47 PM
Quite a new years gift.  :o  Thanks a lot.

Offline everran

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert
Reply #5 on: January 09, 2013, 07:21:40 AM
Anyone else? Greatest live performance in history going once... twice...

Offline evitaevita

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert
Reply #6 on: January 09, 2013, 08:02:30 AM
Wow!  :o
This is a real treasure!
Thank you so much!  :)
"I'm a free person; I feel terribly free. They could put me in chains and I still would be free because my thoughts would be mine - and that's all I want to have."
Arthur Rubinstein

Offline everran

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #7 on: January 09, 2013, 06:15:34 PM
You're welcome. But I must say, I'm disappointed there hasn't been more of a commotion. I don't understand how something of this quality remains unknown to this day. I searched literally everywhere for it, one database after another, for months.

Offline teosoleil

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #8 on: January 15, 2013, 05:29:54 AM
Wow! Thank you so much for the download links! Will listen tomorrow. I'm sure it will be amazing, I haven't listened much to Cziffra, haha :3

Offline everran

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #9 on: January 15, 2013, 05:37:47 AM
Great! I hope you enjoy it. The finale to the Grieg concerto is also incredible. The orchestra has so much vitality.

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #10 on: January 15, 2013, 09:57:38 AM
Thanks, this is terrific. I already had the Totentanz but only in incomplete form.
My website - www.andrewwrightpianist.com
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Offline everran

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #11 on: April 15, 2013, 05:23:20 PM
Bump.  ;D

Offline andreslr6

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #12 on: April 15, 2013, 07:45:53 PM
Bump.  ;D

right on time haha, like 2 days ago I was thinking about the totentanz you posted here months ago, I'll download it now.

Offline picsatsofron

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #13 on: April 16, 2013, 03:00:51 PM
Bump.  ;D

Thank you to both OP and everran! This is the first time the Grieg concerto has ever dazzled me.

Must listen to more of this guy Cziffra  ;)
Setlist:

Beethoven Op 14/2
CPE Bach Sonata H. 106
Brahms Op. 117

Offline everran

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #14 on: January 30, 2014, 02:46:34 PM
Any further interest?

Offline cabbynum

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #15 on: January 30, 2014, 04:04:21 PM
Any further interest?

My FAVORITE pianist! I loved this! Thank you so much
Just here to lurk and cringe at my old posts now.

Offline cabbynum

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #16 on: January 30, 2014, 05:11:13 PM
Holy cow! the Hungarian rhapsody is marvelous here! I would give my arms and legs as well as both shoulder blades to see him live, id give even more to have an afternoon with him.
Just here to lurk and cringe at my old posts now.

Offline everran

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #17 on: January 30, 2014, 05:53:31 PM
There are passages in these performances that boggle the mind. For instance, skip to 0:35 in the Grieg (3rd movement) and 14:15 in the Totentanz.

Offline jockey

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #18 on: January 31, 2014, 05:12:14 PM
Thank-you very much for posting this. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. A very inspirational and rewarding experience.

Offline perprocrastinate

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #19 on: February 01, 2014, 03:55:15 PM
The resonance created by those descending interlocking octaves in the first movement cadenza is just overwhelming.

Offline everran

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #20 on: March 10, 2020, 08:03:52 PM
Bump  ::)

Offline cabbynum

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #21 on: March 22, 2020, 02:54:57 AM
Bump  ::)

What good timing on the bump, I have not logged onto this site in quite a while and this cziffra recording could not have come at a better time. Takes me back to hearing it the first time sitting in my room at my parents house. I was sitting at the piano and dowloaded it to my phone and stopped practicing to listen all the way through with my jaw on the floor essentially the whole time. What a monster! Cziffra never gets old to me. I loved every second again. This time in my own place and again for a practice break. some things don't change!
Just here to lurk and cringe at my old posts now.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #22 on: March 22, 2020, 03:58:00 AM
Yeah, the new posters here should see this. The concert is incredibly good. I would say there's never been a better Totentanz, and the Grieg concerto 3rd movement sends chills down my spine every time.

Offline everran

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #23 on: October 07, 2022, 05:29:57 PM
Totally agree! While I love Cziffra's Totentanz here, the Grieg third movement brings tears my eyes. Just astonishingly, achingly beautiful, even the harshness of it.

Offline j_tour

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #24 on: October 08, 2022, 12:40:22 PM
Amazing!  I missed this from the first post, almost ten years ago.

No deep comments from me, yet, but this is a treasure, and all manner of respect and appreciation is due to everran.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline everran

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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert [download]
Reply #25 on: October 09, 2022, 12:10:07 PM
Amazing!  I missed this from the first post, almost ten years ago.

No deep comments from me, yet, but this is a treasure, and all manner of respect and appreciation is due to everran.

You're welcome!
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