I really do wonder if Liszt would be terribly bothered by his alterations. Liszt is known to have said to advanced pupils that in his transcriptions and in the Hungarian Rhapsodies (i.e. the lighter pieces) that if they had the capacity to play the notes, it was perfectly acceptable to add their own variants. It's quoted somewhere in the Gollerich writings on his masterclasses, I believe.
Sure you have a point. Cziffra's histrionics would bother me less in the transcriptions and rhapsodies which are showpieces of a somewhat improvisational nature, very much his territory. But this Valse-Impromptu is a perfectly polished miniature with not one note too many or too short. I don't see why it is necessary to pimp it up, even if it's only little things he does. Whether Liszt would agree ? Probably, but that does not make it right to my ears.
Give me an individual pianist like Cziffra who gets into the spirit of the music (and has the appropriate tonal qualities) over a dull, Urtext-obsessed pedant like Alfred Brendel any day. Brendel, who witters on about the sanctity of the score and then can't even play the scales in the 2nd Rhapsody.. check them out, they are quite hilarious.
I don't find much to criticize about Brendel's version (although I have to admit I don't like this piece and much prefer the Bugs Bunny version, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYM84n-2 ... re=related
). Not sure which scales you refer to, you mean at 8:36 where he seems to leave out some notes ? If so, why would that not be allowed, if it is allowed to add notes ? Actually I'm not sure I would not prefer this version over Cziffra's, who makes rather a mess of this section.
Ugh, his baroque pieces. The Daquin is not too bad, but in the Scarlatti he veers between soggy and aggressive, and he's tinkering with the score again, changing things, leaving out bars.
Here's a Liszt vid that much impressed me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGBXA1tB ... re=related
and boosted Lisitsa a notch up in my opinion.
Tryly awesome playing.