Géza Anda plays Bartók & Tchaikovsky

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The fifth and final installment of the Géza Anda's SWR recordings, and the first performance (and first recording) by Anda of Bartok’s Second Piano Concerto, which he later helped to receive worldwide recognition. Géza Anda is a representative of artistic honesty, a pianist with deep insight into the works he performed. These are the first and last concert recordings Anda recorded with the SWR - from 1950 and 1973 – available for the first time on a single CD!


Géza Anda gave these concerto performances with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, almost a quarter of a century apart. The disc thus documents a musician who had developed and matured over a period of a generation, playing two works strongly associated with him. But one concerto was as yet not solidly part of his repertoire—it had yet to be stabilised interpretatively. It is thus fascinating to hear his performance of his compatriot Bartók’s Second Concerto, here given with conductor Hans Müller-Kray in November 1950.

This 1950 visit was Anda’s first to the SWR orchestra but he was to return several more times. In 1973 he and Ferdinand Leitner performed the Tchaikovsky First—the same year the BBC taped him in Bartók’s Second [BBCL 4247-2]. As ever in this work—witness, say, another of his German broadcasts in his earlier collaboration with Solti and the Cologne Radio Symphony in 1958 [ICA Classics ICAC5092]—he marries poetic finesse and triumphant virtuosity. There are moments of spellbinding lyricism, as well as dramatic flourishes, none of which are marred by thumping. He was ever a natural poet of the keyboard, but one who could roar with the best of them. Fortunately the recorded sound here is excellent, and whilst some orchestral detail is smudged and there are some passing ensemble incidents this is a galvanizing reading through and through.

For Anda admirers here is an opportunity to hear his Bartók concerto in embryo, and to take pleasure in his Tchaikovsky.

-- MusicWeb International

Product Description:

  • Release Date: March 25, 2014

  • UPC: 4010276026693

  • Catalog Number: 94225

  • Label: Swr Classic

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Bela Bartok

  • Conductor: Hans Müller-Kray, Ferdinand Leitner

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR

  • Performer: Geza Anda


  1. Piano Concerto No. 2, BB 101

    Composer: Béla Bartók

    Ensemble: Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra

    Performer: Géza Anda

    Conductor: Hans Müller-Kray

  2. Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 23

    Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Ensemble: Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra

    Performer: Géza Anda

    Conductor: Ferdinand Leitner

  3. 3 Intermezzos, Op. 117: No. 1 in E-Flat Major

    Composer: Johannes Brahms

    Performer: Géza Anda