Search - Robert Schumann, Cesar Franck, Franz Liszt :: Troubadour of the Piano [Box Set]

Troubadour of the Piano [Box Set]
Robert Schumann, Cesar Franck, Franz Liszt
Troubadour of the Piano [Box Set]
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (38) - Disc #3
  •  Track Listings (46) - Disc #4
  •  Track Listings (26) - Disc #5


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CD Reviews

Anda The Master
Mr. Scott L. Leather | Tucson, AZ United States | 09/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's fortunate that DGG is re-releasing so many of the stellar recordings of artists of the past including this 5-CD set of Geza Anda. Recordings of his that have been out of print for a long time are in this set thankfully. As a young budding piano student I had never purchased or listened to an Anda recording having been taken with the more technically richly endowed wiles of Horowitz and Richter's pianism. I focussed almost exclusively on pyrotechnics as a youth and didn't appreciate the intellect and artistry of artists such as Anda, Backhaus and Kempff until many years later as an adult.

Once I discovered Anda (or re-discovered him might be more like it) I fell in love with his deep sense of musicianship, grasp of musical structure, elemental pianism and visceral yet intellectually weighted emotionality. Because most of his recordings had gone out of print I snapped up what I could, notably the Bartok 3 piano concertos and Mozart complete piano concertos with the Camerata Salzburg. I also got some of the live performance CDs floating around which elucidated his excitement as a performer (along with the fallibility of his technique at times; a technique though that could handle anything thrown at it however).

The most eagerly awaited work for me in this set is the Brahms B-Flat performance which I had unsuccessfully had tried to acquire in LP format for a few years. It was the first thing I listened to in the set and it lived up to my expectations and more. This is a titanic performance of this towering massive concerto. Anda brings out all the fire and gut-pounding power in the places that call for it (e.g. at the beginning opening cadenza's finish before the orchestra tutti starts). He also brings an element of deep elemental mystery to other of the more ethereal passages in the first movement. The second movement it elemental in its power and expression. The end of the 2nd movement is exciting as all get out. My heart raced as Anda came cascading down in the d minor chords at the end of the movement! The cello soloist in the 3rd movement plays with soulfull intensity yet the movement is not taken at too slow a tempo which keeps the overall conception of the work moving with a forward impetus. Anda's entrance is beautiful beyond belief. He conveys a sense of mystery in his playing without it ever getting bogged down in the beautiful details of the notes. The last movement is buoyant and jubilation along with a sense of the delicateness abound. All in all a great performance! The DGG engineering is apparent in this recording with even being so old sounds as if it were recorded yesterday.

The rest of the performances are just as enthralling including 2 performances of the symphonic etudes (an early mono version on Disc 1 and the later stereo version on Disc 5) which are interesting to hear the juxtaposition of an artist's development. Like Julius Katchen, William Kapell and Dino Ciani, Anda was taken from us much too soon.
Awesome Anda
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 02/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Best known as the first pianist to record a complete cycle of Mozart's Piano Concertos, Geza Anda shows his awesome power as both soloist and accompanist in a variety of works on "Troubadour of the Piano." For me, the collection's best moments were the opportunity to finally hear Anda's highly acclaimed accounts of the Schumann Piano Concerto, with Rafael Kubelik and the Berlin Philharmonic in stereo from 1963, and the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2, with Ferenc Fricsay and the Berliners in stereo from 1960. The Schumann is outstanding, but the Brahms is truly brilliant! Those familiar with Anda will know that the pianist made his definitive readings of the Bartok PCs with Fricsay, and they capture that magic once again. The pace is never rushed, and the playing clear and distinct -- it is a legendary performance. Speaking of Bartok, Anda and Fricsay also combine to perform the composer's Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra. Recorded in 1960 and originally paired on vinyl with the Bartok 1st, it was unable to fit on the aforementioned disc of the three Concertos and thus makes its CD debut here. Other highlights from this collection are stereo performances of Beethoven's Diabelli Variations and Chopin's 24 Preludes, and two versions of Schumann's Symphonic Etudes -- one in mono from 1943 and the other in stereo twenty years later. Some of the historical recordings are marred by poor sound, in particular the Franck Symphonic Variations with Van Beinum from 1943, but are delightful as reference material. In all, "Troubadour of the Piano" is another gem in Deutsche Grammophon's "Original Masters" series."