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 Post subject: Cziffra Concert Paraphrase on Il Trovatore
PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:11 pm 
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Live, from a recital last year.

It's probably an exercise in bravery (or stupidity) for me to put something like this on a concert programme. ;) I'm actually quite proud of the end result, but the original Cziffra recording is a lot better. No score existed during Cziffra's lifetime and it was only written out c. 2000. He was prone to entertaining his recording engineers with improvisations, and I suspect that is the genesis of the original recording. I wanted to try and retain an improvisational feel - for example in Konstantin Scherbakov's recording of Cziffra's Tritsch-Tratsch Polka arrangement he gets all the notes (heaven alone knows how) but it comes across as somewhat dry and pedantic and lacking the joie de vivre and electricity of the original.

Verdi-Cziffra - Il Trovatore

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 Post subject: Re: Cziffra Concert Paraphrase on Il Trovatore
PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:27 pm 
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Sounded good, Andrew. I'd need a third hand to play something like that!
I'll get this up on the site tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: Cziffra Concert Paraphrase on Il Trovatore
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:24 pm 
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Wow, I guess there is no repertoire which you cannot go for because of its technical difficulty. Very impressive! BTW on what kind of piano did you play in that recital? The treble sounds quite pleasant.

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 Post subject: Re: Cziffra Concert Paraphrase on Il Trovatore
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:09 am 
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hyenal wrote:
Wow, I guess there is no repertoire which you cannot go for because of its technical difficulty. Very impressive! BTW on what kind of piano did you play in that recital? The treble sounds quite pleasant.


Thank you - but there are certainly pieces I'm scared of.. I've played (not terribly well) some Alkan studies which I think are clearly harder. I wouldn't touch Liszt Don Juan Fantasy and the Mendelssohn-Rachmaninov Midsummer Night's Dream Scherzo, to name just two.

The piano was a Weinbach grand; I've also played this piece in concert on a Bosendorfer and a rather elderly Steinway but this is my preferred recording.

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 Post subject: Re: Cziffra Concert Paraphrase on Il Trovatore
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:20 am 
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andrew wrote:
Thank you - but there are certainly pieces I'm scared of.. I've played (not terribly well) some Alkan studies which I think are clearly harder. I wouldn't touch Liszt Don Juan Fantasy and the Mendelssohn-Rachmaninov Midsummer Night's Dream Scherzo, to name just two.


I love that Scherzo - even more than the original orchestral version! And after hearing some of your recordings, I am sure you would be able to play it very well! Heck, even I can muddle my way through it, although it would take a great amount of time to get it into any sort of decent shape. So go ahead, Andrew - put it on your 'to do list' (please :) ).

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 Post subject: Re: Cziffra Concert Paraphrase on Il Trovatore
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:00 am 
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Hello Andrew, congratulations for championing such a difficult transcription!
Cziffra was great (I love his Sabre Dance transcription heheh). There is on youtube a video of him playing Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mounatin King", which he never recorded commercially, and I think no one has written so far.

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 Post subject: Re: Cziffra Concert Paraphrase on Il Trovatore
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:33 am 
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lisztzsil wrote:
Hello Andrew, congratulations for championing such a difficult transcription!
Cziffra was great (I love his Sabre Dance transcription heheh). There is on youtube a video of him playing Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mounatin King", which he never recorded commercially, and I think no one has written so far.

Best,
Alexandre


Some of Cziffra's improvisations and transcriptions are quite staggering. He was never a "correct" pianist, but an exciting and unique one nonetheless. I think the Il trovatore is relatively :wink: accessible in comparison to some of the others.

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 Post subject: Re: Cziffra Concert Paraphrase on Il Trovatore
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:44 am 
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Fantastic fireworks, Andrew! Cziffra transcriptions might be suicidal to play in concert, but you've succeeded very well in this endeavor. Great musical output as your command of the piece was held all the way to the end. I feel Cziffra plays too fast at times and there was a time his monumental technique did catch up with him as he injured his hand. I really like his Vecsey Valse Triste and the the Khachaturian Sabre Dance transcriptions, have you played those as well?...

George

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 Post subject: Re: Cziffra Concert Paraphrase on Il Trovatore
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:18 am 
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88man wrote:
Fantastic fireworks, Andrew! Cziffra transcriptions might be suicidal to play in concert, but you've succeeded very well in this endeavor. Great musical output as your command of the piece was held all the way to the end. I feel Cziffra plays too fast at times and there was a time his monumental technique did catch up with him as he injured his hand. I really like his Vecsey Valse Triste and the the Khachaturian Sabre Dance transcriptions, have you played those as well?...

George


Thanks: the first time I played it in concert, I was very nervous beforehand as I wasn't sure I'd survive! I was more relaxed this time, and though there are a few places which aren't quite right, on the whole I was fairly comfortable. It doesn't surprise me to hear that Cziffra injured his hand playing, considering the way his hands were maliciously abused following his initial failed attempt to escape to the West. I've played the Valse Triste but not the Sabre Dance, which I'll probably look at properly sometime.

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 Post subject: Re: Cziffra Concert Paraphrase on Il Trovatore
PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:40 am 
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My God! You play this extremely difficult piece incredible well! As you mention, Cziffra was the master of improvisations and I would love to be present by the time when he played in bars where he was very famous for his extreme improvisations! You just gave me a glance of that :).

What was the reaction of the audience? Did they understand what this was?

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 Post subject: Re: Cziffra Concert Paraphrase on Il Trovatore
PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:04 am 
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robert wrote:
My God! You play this extremely difficult piece incredible well! As you mention, Cziffra was the master of improvisations and I would love to be present by the time when he played in bars where he was very famous for his extreme improvisations! You just gave me a glance of that :).

What was the reaction of the audience? Did they understand what this was?


I played this as part of a recital devoted to transcriptions. I think some of the audience realised it is not an "ordinary" transcription, but it wasn't the piece which got the most enthusiastic reaction.

My teacher actually saw Cziffra improvising live (he worked for the BBC at the time: I'm not sure if it was the warmup improvisation, video of which is on youtube) and said it was the most incredible thing he had ever seen.

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 Post subject: Re: Cziffra Concert Paraphrase on Il Trovatore
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:45 am 
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andrew wrote:
My teacher actually saw Cziffra improvising live (he worked for the BBC at the time: I'm not sure if it was the warmup improvisation, video of which is on youtube) and said it was the most incredible thing he had ever seen.

Ah yes, Chopin's Op.10 no.1 etude? Incredible!

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