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Classical - Released July 19, 2019 | Hungaroton

Booklet
Right from the opening of Ballade No. 1, it is evident that Gabor Farkas places the emphasis on achieving a balanced, full sound. The radiant left hand, with its clear articulation (wonderfully exemplified in the introduction of Ballade No. 2), supports a magnificent polyphonic discourse. Ballade No. 3 reveals phrasing which is at times expressive yet always superbly controlled. Nothing is left to chance in this opus. It is structured and logical, yet somewhat free and irresistibly sincere. With its introductory measures, which are reminiscent of Schumann’s “Stimme aus der Ferne” (a haunting theme that permeates Gábor Farkas’ entire performance here), the complex Ballade No. 4 makes extensive use of the suspension pedal, allowing this prominent musician to showcase his sensitivity for each slight harmonic change. The four Impromptus that follow the four Ballades on this album (which was recorded in November 2018 in Hungaroton Studios) confirm that the Hungarian pianist has an excellent command of Chopinian phrasing. Let us not forget that Gábor Farkas, born in 1981 and author of several Liszt albums for Warner, Hungaroton and Steinway and Sons, belongs to the crème de la crème of young contemporary pianists. Christened by Tamás Vásásáry as a “poet of the piano”, this new release therefore acts as a perfect opportunity to rediscover this Franz Liszt Prize winner in his best light. What is more, these outstanding Chopin records are rare enough to appeal to both novice and expert alike. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 20, 2017 | Steinway and Sons

Hi-Res Booklets
Franz Liszt's renderings of music from other media for piano had various purposes. Some, like the Totentanz at the end of this program by Hungarian pianist Gábor Farkas, were virtuoso showpieces, while the "paraphrases" of operatic melodies heard here lay somewhere between virtuosity and a desire to favor an audience with familiar tunes of the day. Yet others show a more inward side of Liszt. Consider and sample the three versions of songs by Clara Schumann. What are they generically? More than transcriptions, surely, and more even than arrangements. They are almost like the large paraphrases without the virtuoso element. They almost have an exploratory quality, and the fact that Liszt, a hypermasculine figure, worked with the music of Clara Schumann -- not unknown, but not music in everyone's ears like the operatic paraphrases were -- is notable in itself. Farkas does very well with these. You can get a more rip-roaring Totentanz if you look around for one, but the subtle treatments of the song renderings here are delightful: they make it possible to imagine Liszt himself thinking his way through these pieces. Farkas is aided by fine engineering from the acoustically perfect Steinway Hall in New York, and in all this is one of the growing Steinway & Sons label's more satisfying releases. © TiVo
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Classical - Released July 7, 2017 | Hungaroton

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Classical - Released February 2, 2009 | Warner Classics International

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Symphonic Music - Released May 1, 2011 | Warner Classics International

For this Warner Classics release, Zoltán Kocsis and the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra present two of Franz Liszt's most popular tone poems, Les Préludes and Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne (otherwise known as the Bergsymphonie), framing a performance of the Hungarian Fantasy with pianist Gábor Farkas. Because 2011 marked the bicentennial of Liszt's birth, this live album joins countless others in the world-wide celebration, but the focus on the composer's Hungarian heritage and legacy is of particular interest here, for the concert was the opening gala of the Liszt Year at the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in the Palace of Arts, Budapest. If the tone poems seem to be performed with more zest than usual, or if the bravado of Farkas' playing reveals more than a little national pride, then this album is wholly in keeping with Liszt's still-vital spirit, and the dedication of the musicians shows that the anniversary is of special significance to them. Indeed, their commitment and emotional connection to the music must have been felt by the Budapest audience, for the enthusiasm of the applause after each piece shows their appreciation. The high quality reproduction and engineering demonstrate a special care in production that such a celebration requires, and the vibrant results make the listening experience even more exciting. One can't help but feel that the length of this CD is too short for the importance of the occasion, and listeners may wish that at least one more work could have been included to fill out the program. But this is still a worthwhile disc to hear and a respectable tribute to the composer, even at under an hour in duration. © TiVo