Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert

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Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert

#1  Postby Skinny Puppy » May 21, 2015 6:52 am

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.


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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert

#2  Postby BlackBart » May 21, 2015 7:23 am

I would have got tickets, but being five days old at the time made things a bit awkward.
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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert

#3  Postby THWOTH » Jun 27, 2015 10:24 am

Cheers SP. I'll give it a listen while im walking the dog.
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Michel de Montaigne, Essais, 1580
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Re: Cziffra's Legendary September 20, 1962 Concert

#4  Postby THWOTH » Jun 28, 2015 1:59 pm

Meh.

I feel the reported legendary awesomeness of this performance may have gained some traction, not say some inconsiderable exaggeration, by its apparent rarity. I mean, with the Greig, it's a grand performance in its scope and interpretation, but it's hardly a 'great' performance on a par with Ritcher under Von Matacic, Michelangeli under de Burgos, or (my personal favourite) Lupu under Previn. There's a couple of reasons why I don't think this will quite stand alongside those performances, first is simply the sound: even forgiving the rather rough-and-ready, boxy nature of the recording, the balance of the band and its parts to the piano means a lot of the detail from both quarters is lost, and second: Benzi just doesn't seem to be in total control of the orchestra, which gives the unsettling impression of an under-rehearsed band, insecure in tempo and weight, and very much trailing behind Cziffra's (often rather broad) flights of fancy rather than embarking on their journey through the piece with that sense of resolved and unified harmony necessary to emphatically declare triumph.

That said, listening to this I was reminded what an amazingly resilient, forgiving, and well-structured piece the concerto is and how, as long as you make most of the notes in the right order, the thing mostly plays itself. It takes a special kind of effort for this piece not to hit that particular emotional spot the young Greig was deliberately aiming at. Cziffra and Benzi do hit those spots, just not will any particular weight or force.

IMO of course.
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Michel de Montaigne, Essais, 1580
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