MARK HAMBOURG The Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody Recordings 2CDs Compact Disc 1 Hungarian Rhapsodies 1 - 11 (recorded between 1927 & 1934) Compact Disc 2 Hungarian Rhapsodies 12 - 14 (1930, 1934 & 1933 recordings) Marche de Rákóczy (1927 recording) Hungarian Rhapsody No2 (1926 recording) Hungarian Rhapsody No14 (1929 recording) Concerto pathétique in E minor (two pianos - with Michal Hambourg) (1934 recording) Mark Hambourg has become a somewhat forgotten figure today but from his first recording in 1909 until the mid 1930’s he was a mainstay of the HMV catalogue and one of the most prolific recording artists of the time. Hambourg was born in Russia and studied there and with the great teacher Leschetitzky in Vienna but when still a teenager his family moved to London and Hambourg made England his home for the rest of his life.
He was a pianist of the old school and this is exemplified in these performances of the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies, the first such cycle to be committed to disc. This is about as far away from ‘urtext’ playing as one can get; indeed often it sounds as if the performances are being improvised, but who’s to say this is not nearer the style the composer would have expected. It was only after Hambourg had recorded a few of the most popular Rhapsodies that it was decided to make a complete cycle and three of these earlier recordings were remade. We have included the first recordings here as an appendix though in the event the later recording of the Rákóczy March was never issued so only the first exists. There is a further mystery about Rhapsodies 1 & 3. These also were not issued and the masters subsequently destroyed, however there are single copies of each held at the International Piano Archives at the University of Maryland and we are very happy to present them here. Finally, by way of a filler, we have included the first commercial recording of Liszt’s Concerto pathétique for two pianos where Hambourg is joined by his daughter Michal.
None of these titles has been reissued since their first appearance on 78’s so this makes for a truly collectable set which is sure to be snapped up by pianophiles. APR7040