Eric: not to mention the fact that the music itself only has a handful of truly interesting moments, even if you take into account the "empty virtuosity." I love the introduction, however. I just feel that the "variations" on La Campanella are poorly developed and executed in general. It was once perfectly described to me as "overlong," I believe.
That said, I think I once told you that I'm fascinated by the piece almost entirely because of the historical significance of it; that is to say, it falls in the category of early Liszt pieces, and provides a good example of how Liszt composed music and used his technique as a late teenager. Of course, I can't say I know as much about those things as you, but the idea is intriguing.
Indeed, the bit about the GGC and speed is an interesting subject, but right now I can't seem to add much more to the "fire." I think there needs to be a certain balance in a pianist's ability to *be able to be* showy and even recklessly daring, as Cziffra tended to be, but to a greater extent, of course he also needs to have the poetical and lyrical nature. Still, for the most part, my argument stands that there is a small percentage of pieces reserved for high-velocity thrills with no *real* relationship to what you might loosely refer to as "artistic music." Of course, the ability to be wild and fast and showy is to be considered trivial to having and conveying an understanding of music, harmonies, and the more exceptional qualities of the art. But at the end of the day, a little bit of a rush every now and then is healthy, and pieces like the GGC are, in my opinion, reserved for that. And they feel the role very nicely.
Oh, and aside from that, I must say that the GGC should only be attempted at Cziffra's tempo if the pianist can PLAY it at Cziffra's tempo. His recordings of the piece are amazing not only because of his speed but accuracy (and, of course, excitement); I recognise that as being quite important as well, that in these "reserved for speed" pieces I'm talking about, the pianists should only play the pieces as fast as they can, while still hitting a wide majority of correct notes, and making the piece comphrensible to the audience.
Just a few thoughts, nothing really new though.
Jeff: good concerto! Why don't you learn that one?...
One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.
You know, some people just have natural talents-like some people play the piano but aren't very tall.