Austrian pianist Friedrich Gulda died on January 27, 2000. He died at his home which was located at Steinbach am Attersee, in Austria, the same town where Gustav Mahler had a home and spent several summers composing there.
Gulda loved the music of Mozart, as do I and millions of musicians like me. In some sense this Cd is dedicated to Gulda’s memory.
The selections on this recording are as follows:
Improvisation 1 + 2, a live recording of a concert on June 27, 1982 at the Munich “Klaviersommer” with the jazz pianist Chick Corea
Piano Sonata No. 12 in F major, K332, a live recording of a concert on June 27, 1982 at the Munich “Klaviersommer” with the jazz pianist Chick Corea
Rondo for Piano & Orchestra in A major, K386
Rondo for Piano & Orchestra in D major, K382
All performed by Friedrich Gulda (piano)
Friedrich Gulda repeatedly played Mozart’s piano music in his concerts and had it recorded. In so doing, this classically-trained musician, who had already played successfully in jazz bands at a young age, ignored the strict limits imposed by genres: he wanted to show audiences that there are no distinctions between musical styles whenever good music is played honestly and conscientiously.
Gulda proves to be a highly gifted interpreter of Mozart as well as a mischievous improviser on the piano – who also wants to entertain and can do so on a high level.
The recording begins and ends with Mozart’s rarely-heard Rondos for Piano and Orchestra in A Major KV 386 and D Major KV 382. Gulda played them on October 4, 1969 in the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residenz, accompanied by the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under Leopold Hager. Gulda plays cheerfully without the slightest audible effort, combining Mozart with the finesse of a grandiose performer who is in fact laughing up his sleeve.
Here is Friedrich Gulda in Mozart’s Piano Concerto number 20: