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Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsodies

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Customer Reviews

Avoid this one

The only way I could get the pieces I wanted was to buy the whole album. I chose this one over the other pianists (Michele Campanella, Jeno Jando, Leslie Howard) based on a few 30 second clips. The sound and recording quality seemed excellent - typical for DG production values. After listening completely through a few of the tracks I feel I just wasted $12. The interpretations by this pianist make me think that he was either angry or drunk or both when he recorded this album and that he must really hate Liszt. Once I get over my snit, I'll probably buy one of the other versions and hope it's more suited to my tastes.


I have had this cd for some years now and I love Roberto Szidon. His technique is unquestionable: clear, precise, fautless and yes, I guess you could say "angry". But I am attracted to that. I don't like soft interpretations (well, when they are warranted as in French piano music where elegance and refinement are key). I want to hear some fire and life in my music. But there is a little humor and elegance here, too, as in No. 10, which is one of my favorites. The Carnaval at Pest is bold and large. The Rackozy is hard and relentless, as it should be. Forget not these are Hungarian Rhapsodies which are related to and based on Gypsy melodies. Tied up in that psychology is angst and passion. I think Szidon does an exceptional job of creating a life for Liszt's notes. Though, he can be a little heavy sometimes as in the ubiquitous No. 2 and also No. 12 (another of my favorites).

Finally, I found them all!

It's been forever since I found a CD compiling more than two or three of the Hungarian Rhapsodies, and frankly I'm pleased as punch upon buying the album. Yeah, most of my favorites are "album only" but I prefer buying whole albums anyways, since I usually find gems that I'd never have heard otherwise.
As for the pianist playing "angry and drunk", well he SHOULD because historically that's how Liszt HIMSELF played, often nearly wrecking the piano by the end of his performances and cranking his bench up ludicrously high so he could get even more leverage to slam his fingers down on the keys when fortissimo just WASN'T LOUD ENOUGH. Honestly, his complete disregard for restraint make him and Schumann some of my favorite pianists, since you're not only allowed but actively encouraged to go a bit overboard when playing them, and they're both fun to listen to and to play. The only gripe I have is that occasionally I can't hear the lower end of the piano in the recordings, but other than that I'm glad to find this sitting on iTunes' shelf.

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Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsodies, Roberto Szidon
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  • $11.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Jan 01, 1973

Customer Ratings