P0169. GÉZA ANDA: Schubert, Brahms, Bartók & Beethoven (the latter’s Sonata #7 in D). (England) BBC Legends 4135, Live Performance, 23 Aug., 1955, Edinburgh Festival. Final sealed copy. - 684911413526
“Géza Anda was a Swiss-Hungarian pianist, a celebrated interpreter of classical and romantic repertoire, particularly noted for his performances and recordings of Mozart, he was also a tremendous interpreter of Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms and Bartók. In his heyday he was regarded as an amazing artist, possessed of a beautiful, natural and flawless technique that gave his concerts a unique quality.
Anda was born in 1921 in Budapest. He studied with some of the renowned teachers of the 20th century such as Imre Stefaniai and Imre Keeri-Szanto, and became a pupil of Ernst von Dohnányi and Zoltán Kodály at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest. In 1940 he won the Liszt Prize, and in the next year he made an international name for himself with his performance of Brahms' Piano Concerto #2. In 1941, he also made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic under Wilhelm Furtwängler, who dubbed him ‘troubadour of the piano’. In 1943, he settled in Switzerland. In the mid-1950s, Anda gave masterclasses at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and in 1960 he took the position of director of the Lucerne masterclasses, succeeding Edwin Fischer.
As a performer, Anda was particularly noted for his interpretation of Schumann's and Brahms' piano music. The New Grove Dictionary cites his ‘charismatic readings of Bartók and Schumann’. He was regarded as the principal Bartók interpreter of his generation, even if other pianists since his death have made more obviously exciting recordings of that composer's concertos. Although he played very little Mozart in his early career, he became the first pianist to record the full cycle of Mozart's piano concerti; he recorded them between 1961 and 1969, conducting himself from the keyboard. His performance of the Andante from Mozart's Piano Concerto #21 in C on the soundtrack of the 1967 film ELVIRA MADIGAN led to the epithet ‘Elvira Madigan’ often being applied to the concerto.”
- Concours Géza Anda, Zürich
“In an age of well trained automata set to shine briefly on the competition circuit, Anda’s was a wholly personal voice backed by pianism and craftsmanship of a transcendental sheen and precision….Géza Anda’s…tragic death at the age of 54 extinguished a light that could never be replaced."
- Bryce Morrison, GRAMOPHONE, Aug., 2008