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David Royko Psy.D

Bartok, Piano Concertos, Geza Anda and Ferenc Fricsay (DG)

Sometimes I revisit older "classic" recordings that were THE touchstones back when I was first getting into classical music, the 1970s. Sometimes they hold up, but many times they don't, compared to others that have come along since. More recordings over the years by more great performers, interpreters, etc. -- as it should be for great music. Often pieces simply have a lot more competition. Today I listened to the Anda/Fricsay Bartok 2nd piano concerto. My recording I learned it on was a cassette recorded off the air in the late '70s of a CSO broadcast of a performance I was at, by relatively obscure pianist Etsko Tazaki with Solti conducting, which I like a lot. Attending that concert only a couple of years into my classical listening life, I was there for the Pastoral, my gateway drug. It was the first time I heard the Bartok, and I soon came to love it and it is a piece I've bought many recordings of over the years. And DAMN, after not hearing it for probably 30 years, this is one classic recording that absolutely holds up, and might be the one I'd still say is the best, and I don't even know if I thought it was way back then. Staggering.

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