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These classic recordings were originally made in 1959 and 1960 by two insightful Hungarian musicians: Géza Anda (1921- 1976), a student of Ernst von Dohnányi and Zoltán Kodály at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, and the conductor Ferenc Fricsay (1914-1963), a pupil of Bartók himself. This background helps lend passionate authenticity to these readings. Anda’s rendition of Bartók’s Third Concerto favours elegance over percussive aggressiveness, akin to the approaches of Dinu Lipatti, Peter Serkin and András Schiff. Pristine Classical renders a recording originally in good sound markedly better. Anda fans will also want his 1952/1957 recordings of Bartók’s First and Second Concertos with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, conducted by Michael Gielen and Fricsay respectively (Audite 23410), and all three Concertos recorded in a single evening’s performance in 1957 with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra led by Ernest Bour (Col Legno WWE 20091).

BENJAMIN IVRY Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing