I’m a great admirer of the late Gyorgy Cziffra and his towering virtuosity. If anyone was under appreciated during his lifetime it was this wondrous pianist whose every phrase had meaning, intent, and emotion.
Cyprien Katsaris, a dazzling performer in his own right, went out of his way to celebrate Cziffra’s artistry during an interview on WGBH Public Radio. The scope of the tribute naturally sent me scurrying to You Tube for samples of the Hungarian pianist’s playing.
I was not only awestruck, but pleasantly surprised to find audio tracks of Cziffra practicing Chopin Waltzes using the dotted eighth-16th rhythm. It’s what so many teachers prescribe for their students to iron out problematic passages. And many pupils will resist, believing it’s a pedantic, time-wasting effort. But if they would just step back and listen to 10 or so minutes of Cziffra practicing sections of three well known Chopin Waltzes, perhaps they might have a changed perspective.
Listening to Cziffra’s playing has become an addiction. These snatches, even in practice mode are brimming with energy and excitement.
Chopin Waltz no. 14 in E minor (Practice 1)
Chopin Waltzes Op. 64, no. 2, followed by no. 1 (Practice 3) The track starts with a brief snatch of a Chopin sonata.
A sample of impeccable Scarlatti played by Cziffra:
Sonata K. 96 in D
This is astounding!!!!!
Chopin Prelude, Op. 28 no. 16