You can listen, on NPR, CNN, XYZ, to today’s noise (Trump: “This is an American disgrace!”), or you can listen to this—your call.
Friedrich Gulda (1930-2000) playing Mozart (Sonata in F major [K 332], Fantasy in C minor [K 475], Sonata in C minor [K 457]), Germany (Munich), 1990
Frederic Chopin (1810-1849), Prelude No. 15 in D flat major (“Raindrop”); Friedrich Gulda (1930-2000), piano
flying two feet,
then two feet more
—Kobayashi Issa, 1763-1827 (translated from Japanese by David G. Lanoue)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Piano Sonata No. 13 in B-flat major
Friedrich Gulda (1930-2000), live
Vladimir Horowitz (1903-1989), live
Whenever life begins to crush me, I know I can rely on Bandol, garlic, and Mozart.
—Jim Harrison (1937-2016), A Really Big Lunch (2017)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Piano Concerto No. 26 in D major (“Coronation”); Munich Philharmonic Orchestra with Friedrich Gulda (conducting, piano), live, 1986
How I wish I’d been a painter . . . that must really be the best profession—none of this fiddling around with words—there are a couple of Daumiers at the Phillips that make me feel my whole life has been wasted.
—Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), letter, 1977
I love his approach to Mozart. He’s never fussy or mannered. He plays simply, directly—like a bird flying from tree to tree.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Piano Sonata No. 12 in F major (:07-), Fantasia in C minor (22:42-), Sonata No. 14 in C minor (39:54-); Friedrich Gulda (1930-2000), live, Germany (Munich), 1990
Mozart was a kind of idol to me—this rapturous singing . . . that’s always on the edge of sadness and melancholy and disappointment and heartbreak, but always ready for an outburst of the most delicious music.
—Saul Bellow (1915-2005)
If, instead of the words ‘good’ or ‘right’ (or ‘sacred’) we use the words ‘beautiful’ or ‘pleasurable’ or ‘enlivening,’ . . . how would our lives be different?
—Adam Phillips, Unforbidden Pleasures (quoted in yesterday’s New York Times Book Review)
This guy breathes life into whatever he plays. The other day we heard a Beethoven performance from 1993. Here he is in 1964.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue; Friedrich Gulda (1930-2000), piano, live, 1964
‘[O]ur days on Earth are numbered, and the numbers are not that big.’
—Samantha Harvey, Dear Thief