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Album Review: Adam Gyorgy Plays Liszt, Bach and Mozart
Adam Gyorgy
Cover image of the album Adam Gyorgy Plays Liszt, Bach and Mozart by Adam Gyorgy
Adam Gyorgy Plays Liszt, Bach and Mozart
Adam Gyorgy
2011 / AGP Agency New York
62 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Adam Gyorgy Plays Liszt, Bach and Mozart is a sparkling sixty-two minute collection of classical solo piano music presented by Adam Gyorgy, a young pianist from Hungary who has been establishing himself as an international superstar in the world of classical performance and recording. At the age of 12, Gyorgy was accepted into the Bela Bartok Conservatory as a prodigy and soon went on to win some very prestigious national awards. He graduated from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest in 2006 and is currently doing his doctoral studies there with a state scholarship. Gyorgy’s approach to music is very clearly summed up in this statement from his website: “Some people say we have to break down the walls between classical and popular music. I would say we don’t need to break them down, because there are no walls. My goal is to show that music is a language that can communicate our thoughts and emotions better than any other way in this world; it is simply music, with a message to deliver and with emotions to explain.”

The selection of music on the album is a dizzying and dazzling group of fourteen pieces from Franz Liszt (both as composer and arranger), JS Bach, Mozart, and Gyorgy’s arrangements of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumble Bee” and Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” that need to be heard to be believed! One of the aspects of Gyorgy’s playing that stood out to me immediately is the remarkable clarity of his performance. In the many lightning-fast passages, each note is clear and pristine. He also honors the performance traditions of the eras when the music was created. In his Bach and Mozart performances, he uses little or no pedal and there isn’t a huge dynamic range, while in his arrangements of later music, he pulls out all of the stops and takes full advantage of the modern piano’s more expressive capabilities.

Recorded in 2007 and 2008, the album begins with Franz Liszt’s Rigoletto paraphrase, a piece that is both elegantly beautiful and a virtuosic showpiece. If Gyorgy hasn’t captured your attention in the first thirty seconds of this piece, you are beyond being impressed! Some of the seven pieces in the Bach Partita in G Major are more difficult than others, but the group as a whole is a wonderful demonstration of Bach’s compositional range. Mozart’s Sonata in C Major (KV 330) is a light-hearted three-movement piece that provides a clear distinction between Bach’s Baroque era and Mozart’s Classical period. Liszt’s La Campanella is a diamond in the piano repertoire, and Gyorgy keeps the melody clear and flawless despite the piano pyrotechnics required all around it. Gyorgy’s arrangement of Flight of the Bumble Bee is breathless at less than two minutes in duration and all over the piano. The closing track is an eight-minute arrangement of Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, which was transcribed by Liszt, then by Vladimir Horowitz, and then Gyorgy. With pomp befitting a coronation followed by a graceful and passionate dance followed by some of the fastest fingerwork I’ve ever heard, it’s a delight to hear such a familiar piece given such a different treatment. It’s beyond impressive!

Adam Gyorgy is certain to become a piano phenomenon. I have to admit that this is the first of his performances I have had the pleasure of listening to, but it won’t be the last! Check out his website at adamgyorgy.com. The CD and downloads are also available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
April 4, 2012
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