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Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 14, 17, 25 & 26 / Piano Sonatas / Rondo in D
Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 14, 17, 25 & 26 / Piano Sonatas / Rondo in D (Decca 480 3442)
SKU: 15703
AU $13.59

Label: Decca Cat. No.: 480 3442 Medium: CD No. Discs: 2
Download View booklet Acrobat PDF file for Decca CD 480 3442 Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 14, 17, 25 & 26 / Piano Sonatas / Rondo in D [232Kb]
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Friedrich Gulda has become something of a cult figure in the music world. This 2CD set
presents him in Mozart recordings - both concertos and solo works - largely for Decca,
with one item, the Piano Concerto No. 17, recorded for Amadeo.
Born in Vienna in 1930, Gulda began formal lessons aged seven with Felix Pazofsky, and
within five years had graduated to the Vienna Music Academy. The Viennese classics -
especially Mozart and Beethoven - quickly established themselves at the heart of Gulda's
performing repertoire but he was also a remarkable jazz performer. It was while he was
rapidly absorbing jazz into his musical bloodstream that Gulda cut his first Mozart
concerto recordings for Decca, starting in 1954 with KV 449. His accompanists, as on the
coupling of KV 505 and 537 recorded almost exactly a year later, were the New
Symphony Orchestra of London, a studio ensemble of hand-picked players, and
conductor-composer Anthony Collins, who during the same period recorded the first
complete cycle of Sibelius's symphonies with the London Symphony Orchestra. What
strikes one in particular about these recordings is their surprisingly 'modern' approach,
free of Romantic rhetoric, with speeds effortlessly maintained and rhythms kept buoyant
and sparkling, matched by a beguiling textural clarity and staccato precision.
The more overtly affectionate Viennese recording of KV 453 dates from 1960 and
features another ad-hoc group, this time selected by Gulda himself, under Paul Angerer, a
Hans Swarowsky protege who was then rapidly establishing his conducting credentials
having spent the early part of his career playing viola in the Orchestre de la Suisse
Romande and Vienna Symphony Orchestra.

Mozart's piano sonatas are often treated as second-class citizens by comparison with the
concertos, yet for Gulda they were an essential part of his creative output. 'The sonatas
are private preliminary conversations leading to the operas,' he reasoned. Gulda's first
recordings for Decca were captured in 1947 and the following year he turned his hands to
Chopin and Mozart's KV 576 Sonata, a reading whose micro-inflected tonal purity and
seamless cantabile is reminiscent of Dinu Lipatti.

Bringing Gulda's lifelong devotion to Mozart full close, he once expressed a peculiar
desire to die on Mozart's birthday. Remarkably, on 27 January 2000, exactly 244 years
after Mozart was born, Gulda passed away, aged 69.

"Gulda's playing is impeccable ... The orchestral playing is distinctly good ... The
recording is first-rate"
[Concertos 25 & 26] - Gramophone.

"In the Andantino and the finale, the pianist's neat, deft playing, his sure sense of balance
and admirable control, bear their rewards ... Mozart's music is allowed to speak for itself,
and does so, eloquently."
- [Concerto No. 14] Gramophone.

"Admirably clean, well balanced, true recording of a wise-like (i.e. gracious-cumjudicious)
- [Sonata No. 18] Gramophone.

A Decca Eloquence CD set.

To be released 28 October 2011.

Artists: Friedrich Gulda (piano).
Composers: Mozart.
Orchestras: London Symphony Orchestra, New Symphony Orchestra.

Piano Concertos Nos. 25 & 26
Friedrich Gulda {piano}
New Symphony Orchestra
Anthony Collins

Piano Sonata No. 18
Friedrich Gulda {piano}

Piano Concertos No. 14
Friedrich Gulda {piano}
London Symphony Orchestra
Anthony Collins

Piano Concertos No. 17
Friedrich Gulda {piano}
Orchestra conducted by Paul Angerer

Rondo in D major, KV 485
Piano Sonata No. 8
Friedrich Gulda (piano)
Medium: CD
No. of Discs: 2
SKU #: 15703
Label: Decca
Catalog #: 480 3442
Price: AU $13.59   

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