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Gulda Plays Mozart & Gulda
By Leopold Hager

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By Leopold Hager, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and Friedrich Gulda. By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) and Friedrich Gulda (1930-2000). Classical. CD. Naxos #BRK900713. Published by Naxos (NX.BRK900713).

Item Number: NX.BRK900713

Mozart was certainly among the ''domestic dieties'' of Viennese pianist Friedrich Gulda. He 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. On June 27, 1982, Gulda again appeared at Munich's ''Klaviersommer'' festival. His partner was the jazz pianist Chick Corea, and the collaboration of both musicians is documented on this album ''The Meeting'' - a standard in recording history. Until now, only the famous second half of this concert has been available and not the first, which Gulda performed on his own and was devoted primarily to Mozart. Gulda thus used Mozart's piano music as a kind of introduction to the world of jazz improvisation. The first part of this legendary concert, performed at the Deutsches Museum in the summer of 1982, took the soloist Gulda over 40 minutes to perform, even though he ''only'' played Mozart's Piano Sonata in C Major, K. 330. But he began and ended it with his own improvisations, which sound less than Mozartian, even though they do contain a broad and subtle range of different styles and effects, catchy melodies, and violent cascades of sound. 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. As a transition to the second part of the concert, he performs two of his own compositions, which can also be heard on this album. It is a piece of good fortune that the Bayerische rRundfunk has now made the first half of this concert event accessible to a wide audience too.

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