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Tag: Mozart

Thursday, 8/9/12

Mozart, Piano Sonata No. 18 in D. major, K. 576 (1789)
Mitsuko Uchida, piano

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

Listening to Mozart is like entering a room where the walls, the ceiling, even the floor are made entirely of glass.

Saturday, 5/12/12

Imagine what it would’ve been like to sit in the late afternoon with a cup of tea, listening to him, in the next room, practicing.

Dinu Lipatti (1917-1950), piano
Mozart, Sonata No. 8 in A Minor, K. 310,
Recorded live in Besancon, France, 9/16/1950

More? Here. And here.

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lagniappe

As the date of his appearance in Besançon approached, Lipatti was becoming more and more ill [Hodgkin’s lymphoma]; nevertheless, in the days before the recital he wrote to his teacher Florica Musicescu and also to Paul Sacher that his health was fine. The morning of his performance, he practiced on the Gaveau piano in the Salle du Parliament without any problems. That afternoon, however, he developed a strong fever, and his doctor begged him to cancel; Lipatti did not want to consider this but admitted that he didn’t think he could perform. The organizer of the recital was contacted by telephone, and when he stated that the hall was already full, Lipatti made the decision to play. After some injections, he walked robot-like to the car that transported him to the hall. He took each step deliberately, with such difficulty that he decided that he would not leave the stage between pieces. The Radiodiffusion Française cancelled the live transmission of the recital, fearing the worst, but recorded the performance for future broadcast.

The hall was packed, with additional seating behind the piano . . . The concentration of both the artist and the audience members is palpable in both the photographs and the recording of the recital, with enthusiastic applause greeting each work.

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Despite other planned concerts later in September and in October, Lipatti did not give another public performance.

Mark Ainley

Sunday, 4/29/12

Let’s go to church.

“Until I Die,” Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, N.C., 2001

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lagniappe

reading table

On the Death of Friends in Childhood

We shall not ever meet them bearded in heaven,
Nor sunning themselves among the bald of hell;
If anywhere, in the deserted schoolyard at twilight,
Forming a ring, perhaps, or joining hands
In games whose very names we have forgotten.
Come, memory, let us seek them there in the shadows.

—Donald Justice (Collected Poems, 2004)

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“[We find] it impossible, when we have to analyze death, to imagine it in terms other than those of life.”

—Marcel Proust, The Fugitive (translated from French by Peter Collier)

*****

listening room: (some of) what’s playing

• The Dirtbombs, Ultraglide In Black (In the Red Records)

Wild Flag (Merge Records)

• That’s What They Want: The Best of Jerry McCain (Excello)

The Best of Slim Harpo (Hip-O)

• Ambrose Akinmusire, When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Blue Note)

• Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy, I Only Have Eyes For You (ECM)

• Anthony Braxton, 9 Compositions (Iridium)

• Chicago Tentet, American Landscapes 1 & 2 (Okka)

• Steve Lehman Octet, Travail, Transformation, and Flow (Pi Recordings)

• Joe McPhee, Nation Time (Unheard Music Series)

• Weasel Walter, Mary Halvorson, Peter Evans, Electric Fruit (Thirsty Ear)

• J. Berg’s Royal Rarities Vols. 2-3; A Cappella Archives, Vol. 3; Gospel Goldies, Vol. 2 (Rare Gospel)

• The Fisk Jubilee Quartet, There Breathes A Hope (Archeophone)

This May Be My Last Time Singing: Raw African-American Gospel On 45 RPM 1957-1982 (Tompkins Square)

• Bach, Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, Pierre Fournier, (Archiv Production/DG)

• Mozart, Piano Sonatas Nos. 16 and 17, Peter Serkin, piano (Pro Arte)

• Arnold Schoenberg, Das Klavierwerk, Peter Serkin, piano (Arcana)

The Art of Joseph Szigeti (Biddulph Recordings)

• Anton Webern, Five Movements For String Quartet, Op. 5; Six Bagatelles For String Quartet, Op. 9; String Quartet, Op. 28; Quartetto Italiano (Philips)

• Anton Webern, Complete Works for String Quartet and String Trio, Artis Quartet Wien (Nimbus)

Music of Stefan Wolpe, Vol. 6, David Holzman, piano (Bridge)

• WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University)

Bird Flight (Phil Schaap, jazz [Charlie Parker])
Traditions in Swing (Phil Schaap, jazz)
Eastern Standard Time (Carter Van Pelt, Jamaican music)
Rag Aur Taal (various, Indian)

• WFMU-FM

Mudd Up! (DJ/Rupture“new bass and beats”)
Sinner’s Crossroads 
(Kevin Nutt, gospel)
Cherry Blossom Clinic (Terre T, rock, etc.)
Fool’s Paradise (Rex; “Vintage rockabilly, R & B, blues, vocal groups, garage, instrumentals, hillbilly, soul and surf”)

• WHPK-FM (broadcasting from University of Chicago)

The Blues Excursion (Arkansas Red)

*****

radio

Happy Birthday, Duke!

All Ellington, all day: WKCR-FM.

Monday, 10/10/11

Happy Birthday, Thelonious!

Thelonious Monk, composer, pianist, bandleader
October 10, 1917-February 17, 1982 

Monk’s music—its exquisite mix of logic and lyricism—sometimes makes me think of Mozart.

“’Round Midnight” (AKA “’Round About Midnight”) (T. Monk)

Take 1: Bill Evans Trio (BE, piano; Eddie Gomez, bass; Marty Morrell, drums), live, Sweden, 1970

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Take 2: Don Pullen (piano), rec. 1984 (Don Pullen Plays Monk)

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Take 3: Milt Jackson (vibes), live, Japan, 1990

Vodpod videos no longer available.

More Monk? Here. And here. And here. And here.

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

If it wasn’t for music, man, life wouldn’t be nothing—it’s all about music.

—Thelonious Monk

*****

Sonny Rollins talks about Monk:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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radio

All Monk, all day: WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University).

Friday, May 20, 2011

Who else (besides, of course, Bob Dylan) has played so many different roles so brilliantly?

Miles Davis (with Robben Ford & guest Carlos Santana, guitars), “Burn”
Live, Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey, 6/15/86

Listen to stuff long enough and it changes—or you do, anyway. Once I might have faulted this for being repetitive. But that’s a bit like faulting roast beef for being meat. Of course it’s repetitive. That’s part of what makes it soar.

More? Here.

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lagniappe

listening room: what’s playing

Rashied Ali Quintet, Live In Europe (Survival Records)

• Paul Motian (with Chris Potter, Jason Moran), Lost In A Dream (ECM)

Charlie Parker, The Complete Royal Roost Live Recordings on Savoy, Vol. 3 (Columbia Japan)

Eric Dolphy At The Five Spot, Vol. 2 (with Booker Little, Mal Waldron, Richard Davis, Ed Blackwell; Prestige)

• Various Artists, Fire In My Bones: Raw + Rare + Other-Worldly African-American Gospel (1944-2007) (Tompkins Square)

• Reverend Charlie Jackson, God’s Got It: The Legendary Booker and Jackson Singles (CaseQuarter)

Group Doueh, Guitar Music from the Western Sahara (Sublime Frequencies)

Mozart: Piano Sonata No. 8 in A Minor, Helene Grimaud, Resonances (Deutsche Grammophon)

Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 23 (“Appasionata”) and No. 29 (“Hammerklavier”), Solomon, The Master Pianist (EMI Classics)

Anton Webern: String Quartet, Six Bagatelles for String Quartet, String Quartet Op. 28, LaSalle Quartet (Brilliant Classics)

• Arnold Schoenberg: String Quartet in D major, LaSalle Quartet (Brilliant Classics)

Roger Sessions: String Quartet No. 2, Julliard String Quartet (Composers Recordings)

Morton Feldman: For Bunita Marcus, John TilburyMorton Feldman, All Piano (London HALL)

WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University)
Bird Flight (Phil Schaap, jazz [Charlie Parker])
Morning Classical (Various)
Amazing Grace (Various)

WFMU-FM
Mudd Up! (DJ/Rupture, “new bass and beats”)
Sinner’s Crossroads
(Kevin Nutt, gospel)
—Give The Drummer Some
(Doug Schulkind, sui generis)
—Fool’s Paradise
(Rex, sui generis)
Transpacific Sound Paradise (Rob Weisberg, “popular and unpopular music from around the world”)

Sunday, 3/20/11

Sherman Washington Jr. (Zion Harmonizers)
December 13, 1925-March 14, 2011

Zion Harmonizers with Aaron Neville, “Wonderful,” live, New Orleans (Gospel Tent, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival), 1991

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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lagniappe

Sherman Washington Jr., the leader of the Zion Harmonizers and the godfather of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival’s Gospel Tent, died early Monday at his home in Boutte after a long illness. He was 85.

sherman washington 2002 fest.jpg

What Ellis Marsalis is to jazz, Mr. Washington was to gospel. For three decades, he hosted a Sunday morning gospel show on WYLD-AM that served as the gospel community’s town hall. He led the Zion Harmonizers, New Orleans’ longest-running gospel vocal group, since the 1940s. The Harmonizers appeared at the very first Jazz Fest, staged in 1970 in what is now Armstrong Park.

After the festival moved to the Fair Grounds in 1972, he oversaw the growth of the Gospel Tent, building it into a cornerstone of the festival’s roots-music presentation. The tent introduced a music largely unknown outside the African-American churches where it was born to a much broader audience.

Until deteriorating health finally slowed him down in recent years, he administered the Gospel Tent with a steadfast integrity and intimate knowledge of the music, musicians and singers. Given that many acts consist of large choirs, the tent features more performers than any other stage at the festival.

“Gospel, even after jazz and blues came down to the front of the bus, was still in the back of the bus,” said Jazz Fest producer/director Quint Davis. “To a large extent, Sherman’s work through the Gospel Tent has helped bring gospel music to the front of the bus. An enormous debt is owed to him by the festival, and the whole gospel world.”

Davis expects the upcoming Jazz Fest to feature a tribute to Mr. Washington.

“You can talk about soul with either a lower-case ‘s’ or an upper-case ‘S,'” Davis said. “Sherman had soul with a capital S.”

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In the late 1960s, the Harmonizers roster included a Mississippi-born bass singer named John Hawkins. In early 1970, Hawkins met Quint Davis at Mason’s Hotel on Claiborne Avenue and came back to Mr. Washington with news of this young music fan who was organizing a music and heritage festival.

Mr. Washington went to meet Davis and partner Allison Miner, and the Zion Harmonizers were booked for the first Jazz Fest at Congo Square. The forerunner of today’s Gospel Tent was a 15-by-20-foot open-sided tent with an upright piano and no floor, stage or sound system.

When Jazz Fest moved to the Fair Grounds in 1972, Davis approached Mr. Washington with an idea.

“Quint said, ‘I had a dream,’” Mr. Washington recalled. “And I thought, ‘This isn’t Dr. King, is it?’ He said, ‘I had a dream that I’m going to build a Gospel Tent, and I want you to run it.’ ”

Mr. Washington’s diplomatic skills came in handy. In the early 1970s, gospel choirs rarely performed outside of churches or church functions. They certainly didn’t perform at “hippie” events where beer was served. Pastors resisted the idea of choirs performing at Jazz Fest.

“The preachers were against me,” Mr. Washington said, “because people would drink beer in the Gospel Tent. I would ask the choir’s president or manager, and he’d tell me yeah. Then he’d come back and say, ‘Our pastor doesn’t want us to sing in the Gospel Tent.’ ”

So instead of church choirs, Mr. Washington booked vocal quartets that weren’t affiliated with churches.

“Those are the ones I had to depend on,” he said. “They would tear the place up, pack it out. We didn’t pay those preachers no mind. We kept going.”

Opinions eventually changed and choirs lobbied Mr. Washington to be included. “I think the choir members got on the pastors about it. Because if a person drinks a beer or something, that’s their soul, not yours. If you’re singing, you’re doing what God wants you to do.”

Eventually, a small staff was assigned to assist Mr. Washington, but he still screened most acts in person. He attended rehearsals and private auditions, offering advice along the way.

“He had never been in a role like this,” Davis said. “He was a true man of God who was not in it to advance himself or build an empire. He worked through his community and spiritual connections to put it all together. He knew who was the real deal, who needed to play.”

Mr. Washington insisted on a high level of professionalism and skill, as he knew any group could well be some Jazz Fest’s attendee’s first exposure to gospel. He wanted the music to make a good first impression.

“This Gospel Tent has brought more white people to gospel than anybody had ever seen, ” Mr. Washington said in 2002. “Now, it’s more white people than black people. And they get into it. It brings the white and black together. People get together and stand up, you don’t know who is who.”

—Keith Spera, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 3/14/11

On March 14, 2011 at 2:36 AM, the music stopped and his lyrics became a reality.

Obituary (The Times-Picayune)

*****

listening room: what’s playing

• Bach, Cello Suites, Steven Isserlis, Jean-Guihen Queyras

• Von Freeman, Walkin’ Tuff, Vonski Speaks, Young & Foolish

• Milton Babbitt, Piano Works, Robert Taub

• Buddy & Julie Miller, Written in Chalk

Nneka, Concrete Jungle

Jason Moran, Ten

Steve Lehman, Travail, Transformation, and Flow

Friedrich Gulda, Piano Recital 1959 (Bach, Haydn, Beethoven)

• Theo Parrish, First Floor

• Theo Parrish, Sound Sculptures, Vol. 1

• Roger Sessions, Works for Violin, Cello, Piano; Curtis Macomber (violin), Joel Krosnick (cello), Barry David Salwen (piano)

• Roger Sessions, Sonatas Nos. 1 & 3; Ralph Shapey, Mutations and Mutations II, 21 Variations, David Holzman (piano)

• Yascha Heifetz (violin), Chamber Music Collection, Vol. 1 (Mozart, et al.)

• Morton Feldman, For Bunita Marcus, Stephane Ginsburgh (piano)

Sinner’s Crossroads, Kevin Nutt, WFMU-FM (Thursday, 8-9 p.m. [EST])

Gospel Memories, Bob Marovich, WLUW-FM (Saturday 10-11 a.m. [CST])

Give the Drummer Some, Doug Schulkind, WFMU-FM (Friday, 9 a.m.-noon [EST]; web stream only)

Bird Flight, Phil Schaap, WKCR-FM (M-F, 8:20-9:30 a.m. [EST])

• WFMU-FM, Annual Fundraising Marathon

Thursday, 3/17/11

two takes

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

Mozart, Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A major, K. 581 (1789)
2nd Movement (Larghetto)

Bruce Nolan (clarinet) and the Sierra String Quartet

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Yona Ettlinger (clarinet) and the Tel Aviv Quartet

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More? Here. And here. And here.

Saturday, 1/29/11

replay: clips too good for just one day

I’ve tried listening to his recordings while doing something else, but that hasn’t worked. Whatever else I was doing, I just put aside. If it was nighttime, I turned off the light. Some music occupies every available inch of space—there isn’t room for anything else.

Alfred Cortot: Frederic Chopin, “Farewell” (Waltz in A-flat major, Op. 69, No. 1 [excerpt]); Robert Schumann, “Der Dichter Spricht” (Op. 15, No. 13 in G major [excerpt])

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lagniappe

Cortot looked for the opium in music.

—Daniel Barenboim

(Originally posted 7/13/10.)

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If you want to stay right where you are, don’t even bother with this clip. But if, instead, you’d like to go somewhere you may never have been before, well, this might be just the ticket.

Gyorgy Ligeti (1923-2006), Three Etudes, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano

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lagniappe

I listen to all kinds of music—new music, old music, music of my colleagues, everything.

—Gyorgy Ligeti (whose influences included not only the usual suspects [Chopin, Debussy, et al.] but also Thelonious Monk and Bill Evans and the Rainforest Pygmies and fractal geometry)

(Originally posted 10/6/09.)

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Want a break from music that’s busy, busy, busy, busy, busy?

Try this.

Here, it seems, almost nothing happens at all.

Morton Feldman (1926-1987), Intermission 6 (1953)/Clint Davis, piano, live, Lexington, Kentucky, 2009

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lagniappe

To almost everyone’s surprise but his own, he [Morton Feldman] turned out to be one of the major composers of the twentieth century, a sovereign artist who opened up vast, quiet, agonizingly beautiful worlds of sound . . . . In the noisiest century in history, Feldman chose to be glacially slow and snowily soft.—Alex Ross

*****

Earlier in my life there seemed to be unlimited possibilities, but my mind was closed. Now, years later and with an open mind, possibilities no longer interest me. I seem content to be continually rearranging the same furniture in the same room.—Morton Feldman

(Originally posted 11/7/09.)

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mail, etc.

Congratulations on your 500th post. I don’t know how you do it but I’m definitely looking forward to receiving your next 500 posts. Thanks for exposing me to so many great artists. Keep the music coming and thanks for what you do.

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Lovely [Gulda/Mozart clip].

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The Sonny Rollins clip was amazing and amazing doesn’t do it justice!

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Oh, my goodness—and in such distinguished company as well! Thank you so much, Richard.

All best,
David [Kirby]

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Richard McLeese checked in with some nice memories about Son Seals. Click here to enjoy them yourself, including a couple of great videos.

Andrew Vachss’ website

Monday, 1/24/11

Does anyone play Mozart with more verve?

Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, KV. 466, first movement;
Friedrich Gulda (piano and conducting), Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, live, Germany (Munich), 1986

Part 1

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Part 2

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More? Here.

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Friedrich Gulda has refused to succumb to the increasing specialization of our age, refused to limit his horizons to one small portion of the musical spectrum. A prodigious talent, whom Harold Schonberg once hailed in The New York Times as “a continuation of the great German traditions of piano playing exemplified by Schnabel and Backhaus,” he chose to reject the cloistered life of a virtuoso in favor of a career that paid equal attention to jazz and classical music, to performance, composition and improvisation.

“There can be no guarantee that I will become a great jazz musician, but at least I shall know that I am doing the right thing,” he once said.  “I don’t want to fall into the routine of the modern concert pianist’s life, nor do I want to ride the cheap triumphs of the Baroque bandwagon.” His insistence on shaping his career in his own image has been costly: once a household name among piano aficionados, he has not toured America in nearly two decades. Yet a spate of recent releases – both jazz and classical – suggest that it may be time for him to reclaim the fame once so deservedly his.

Born in Vienna in 1930, Mr. Gulda began piano studies at the age of 7, entered the Vienna Music Academy at 12 and won a major competition at 16 – first prize in the Geneva International Music Festival. His career catapulted with meteoric speed: he toured Europe and South America in 1949, and made his much-heralded Carnegie Hall debut in 1950. Mr. Gulda’s playing, however, always shunned excessive showmanship, favoring an intellectual, objective stance. His concentration on Bach, Mozart and Beethoven reflected these innate tendencies.

Mr. Gulda’s life changed in 1951: after an appearance with the Chicago Symphony, he joined Dizzy Gillespie in jazz improvisations – his first taste of freedom, so it would seem. Jazz offered “the rhythmic drive, the risk, the absolute contrast to the pale, academic approach I had been taught.” By 1956 Mr. Gulda had made his American jazz debut at New York’s Birdland, subsequently participating in the Newport Jazz Festival. Later he founded a jazz combo and in 1964 a big band grandly titled the Eurojazz Orchestra. Refusing to be limited to the piano, Mr. Gulda quickly mastered both flute and baritone sax.

What happened to his career as a classical pianist? By the late 1950’s he had rejected the traditional recital format, instead combining classical music and jazz on the same programs. By the 1970’s he had begun to irritate concert promoters by refusing to announce the content of his programs in advance and by fearlessly juxtaposing Bach, Debussy, his own jazz and freely improvised new music. Not surprisingly, many ridiculed him, claiming he had thrown away a promising career, had succumbed to egotistical eccentricity.

A sudden burst of new releases proves how wrong his critics were. “The Meeting: Chick Corea and Friedrich Gulda” (Philips CD 410 397-2), recorded at a live performance in Munich in 1982, consists exclusively of two-piano improvisations. Chick Corea is hardly a novice at either improvisations – readers may recall his 1978 two-record set with Herbie Hancock (CBS PC2 35663) – or at a crossover stance that melds both classical and jazz approaches. The result is a disk that consists of three gigantic essays, each beginning in a rhapsodic manner and only gradually coalescing into a structured commentary on familiar tunes –  “Someday My Prince Will Come,” Miles Davis’s “Put Your Little Foot Out,” Brahms’s Lullaby. Most remarkable are the completely free sections in which the players must rely entirely on listening, responding, sensing each other’s every whim. Ironically enough, the music is often angular and dissonant – occasionally approaching the intricacies of atonal modernism – yet always possessing a tightly disciplined structure. Both Mr. Corea and Mr. Gulda display dazzling technique together with fertile imaginations that dart unfettered from classical to jazz idioms.

“Gulda Plays Gulda” (Philips CD 412 115-2) consists almost entirely of his own piano compositions. The finest are those in which he adopts the conventions of both jazz and classical music to traditional forms – a virtuosic set of Variations, a Prelude and Fugue, a three-movement Sonatina. If Mr. Gulda is not an innovator, he shows remarkable ability at absorbing, integrating, synthesizing diverse idioms. Even at his most derivative – the spirits of Count Basie and Miles Davis haunt these works – the pieces are never less than formally skilled and overflowing with vitality. Only  “For Paul” and “For Rico,” bathed in pop-rock cliches, sound both dated and embarrassingly trivial.

Mr. Gulda’s  “Winter Meditation”, paired with Beethoven’s Sonata in C minor, Op. 111 (Philips 412 114-1), provides the link from his own compositions to the realm of classical music. There are no references to jazz here: instead  “Winter Meditation” conjures up images of a barren, ominous, frozen landscape. Dissonant and fragmented, it explores extremes of register and dynamic range; it deliberately eschews traditional form or melodic content. Ultimately, though, it reaches for profundity, it appears far less successful than his jazz, remaining shapeless and self-indulgent. The Beethoven, however, is a revelation: rarely have I heard such a riveting performance of the composer’s last Sonata. Mr. Gulda’s Beethoven is driving, lean, hard-edged, its propulsive power more than matched by a probing, intellectual musicianship that penetrates to the core of this most complex work.

Schumann’s  “Fantasiestukce”, Op. 12 and “Liederkreis”, Op. 39 (Philips CD 412 113-2) find Mr. Gulda in similarly evocative form. It takes him no more than a few moments to capture the essence of these moody, impassioned, sometimes haunted texts. Mr. Gulda is joined in the “Liederkreis” by the soprano Ursula Anders, who opts for a childlike purity of tone, performing these songs almost entirely without vibrato. Such a vocal timbre can be appealing but here seems a bit excessive in its application; though she may have been reaching for naturalistic, folklike simplicity the result severely limits her expressive range.

In all of Mr. Gulda’s recent releases he favors a percussive, hammered attack in forte passages, eliciting a clangorous, metallic sound from his beloved Bosendorfer. His own jazz benefits from such an approach, and to a certain extent even the Beethoven Sonata – with its explosive sforzandos and ensuing pianos – is not harmed. In the Schumann, however, Mr. Gulda’s pianistic touch can seem needlessly brutal. Yet his manner provides the hidden benefit of creating chiseled, transparent textures; even in massive passages, all lines stand out in relief.

Mr. Gulda’s approach fits perfectly with the conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s, and the result in their new recording of Mozart’s Concertos Nos. 23 and 26 (Telarc CD 8. 42970 ZK) is nothing less than a radical rethinking of these familiar works. Mr. Harnoncourt stamps his imprint on the Concertgebouw Orchestra: he has it imitate the manner of an original-instrument ensemble, with biting articulations, crisp bow strokes and transparent textures in which brass and tympani stand out with startling clarity. To further enhance textural lucidity, Mr. Harnoncourt occasionally reduces the strings to a small concertino group during solo piano passages. Mr. Gulda plays throughout, even during orchestral tuttis, sometimes adding arpeggiated figuration or bass reinforcement in full instrumental sections.

Mr. Harnoncourt and Mr. Gulda possess no less a unity of vision than do Mr. Corea and Mr. Gulda in ”The Meeting.” Mr. Gulda’s playing is rhythmically precise, keenly articulated, objective and unsentimentalized, yet never insensitive to phrasing or mood. The result is the ultimate vindication of this enigmatic, fiercely independent musician, a man whose wide-ranging efforts have – to judge from recent recordings – succeeded far more often than they have failed.

—K. Robert Schwartz, New York Times, 9/29/85

*****

reading table

The John Cage of status updates?

The Led Zeppelin of sensitive screenwriters?

The Willie Nelson of pin-up girls?

All these, and more, can be found at The Rosa Parks of Blogs.

Thursday, 11/18/10

His music points toward another world—one more lyrical, more refined, more lucid than this.

Mozart, Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Minor, K. 457/Friedrich Gulda, live, 1981

1st Movement

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2nd Movement

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3rd Movement

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(This last clip does something odd: instead of ending when the third movement concludes [5:15], it starts over.)

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