LISZT HUNGARIAN RHAPSODY
No. 2 in C# minor




Here is a group of differing interpretations of the second Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody. While most of the performances use the original Liszt text, there are several, Horowitz, of course, Volodos and Lang Lang, in which the Liszt-Horowitz edition are used. And in his 1910 recording, the earlier of two by Paderewski, he adds his own cadenza to the Liszt Rhapsody.

The rhapsody invites a high degree of personalization from the pianist and some of the performances clearly take this too far. But even within the range of appropriate personal liberties, there are very interesting and considerable differences. If, for example, one compares the performances of Rachmaninoff, Cortot, Hofmann, Cziffra, and Brendel the wide range of "tasteful" interpretations becomes quite apparent.

This is not to say there aren't some other extremely good ones in the group below, Moiseivitch and Rosenthal are treasures too, and a very fine rendition by Hamelin ... as well as some very excellent pianists who stretch the limits of "taste".

I had an amazing performance by the superb Hungarian pianist Edith Farnadi, and a famous Paderewski, but they were removed from YouTube. I have replaced these with my latest Hungarian discovery, Gergely Bogányi in a very exciting rendition of this potboiler, and what I believe might be the best performances of all, those by Gleb Akselrod and Geoffrey Tozer.

And Rachmaninoff of course. And Kentner. And two versions by Brailovsky that are my current favorites.






GLEB AKSELROD (1923-2003)
Georgian-born Soviet pianist
recorded in 1968







WALLACE BERNARD
recorded ca1918







GERGELY BOGANYI
Hungarian pianist (b 1974)







ALEXANDER BRAILOWSKY
Ukranian-French pianist (1896-1976)

recorded in 1931





recorded in 1938







ALFRED BRENDEL
Austrian pianist (b 1931)







ALFRED CORTOT
Franco-Swiss pianist (1877-1962)
recorded in 1926







GRIGORY GINZBURG
Russian pianist (1904-1961)
recorded in 1952







MARK HAMBOURG
Russian-British pianist (1879-1960)
two versions recorded in 1926 and in 1932







MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN
Canadian pianist (b 1961)







JOZEF HOFMANN
Polish-American pianist (1876-1957)
Recorded in 1922







VLADIMIR HOROWITZ
Russian-American pianist (1903-1989)
Recorded in 1953







LOUIS KENTNER
Hungarian-British pianist (1905-1987)
recorded in 1937

Part I




Part II







LANG LANG
Chinese pianist (b 1982)






and in 2006







BENNO MOISEIVITCH
Ukranian pianist (1890-1963)







SERGEI RACHMANINOV
Russian-American pianist (1873-1943)
Student of Alexander Siloti who was a student of Franz Liszt)







MORIZ ROSENTHAL
Austro-Hungarian pianist (1862-1946)
Student of Franz Liszt







MARIE NOVELLO (1898-1928)
Welsh pianist
recorded in 1921







JESÚS MARÍA SANROMÁ (1902-1984)
Puerto Rican pianist
recorded in 1941







ALEXEI SULTANOV
Russian-American pianist (1969-2005)
Live 1999







GEOFFREY TOZER (1954-2009)
Australian pianist
recorded live in 1987







ARCADI VOLODOS
Russian pianist (b 1972)
Liszt-Horowitz transcription







EARL WILD
American pianist (b 1915)
recorded in 1986















Here is my new book, a murder mystery with a musical polemic






and the audiobook version



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