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Friedrich Gulda

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Friedrich Gulda (16 May 1930 - 27 January 2000) was an Austrian pianist.

Born in Vienna as the son of a teacher, Gulda began learning to play the piano from Felix Pazofsky at the age of 7; in 1942, he entered the Vienna Music Academy, where he studied piano and musical theory under Bruno Seidlhofer and Joseph Marx. After winning first prize at the International Competition in Geneva four years later, in 1946, he began going on concert tours throughout the world. Together with Jörg Demus and Paul Badura-Skoda, Gulda formed what became known as the “Viennese troika”.

Although most famous for his Beethoven interpretations, Gulda also performed the music of J. S. Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Debussy and Ravel.

From the 1950s on he cultivated an interest in jazz, writing several songs and instrumental pieces himself and combining jazz and classical music in his concerts at times. Gulda wrote a Prelude and Fugue with a theme suggesting swing. Keith Emerson performed it on Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s The Return of the Manticore. In addition, Gulda composed Variations on The Doors’ Light My Fire. Another version can be found on As You Like It (1970), an album with standards such as ‘Round Midnight and What Is This Thing Called Love. In 1982, Gulda teamed up with jazz pianist Chick Corea, who found himself in between the breakup of Return to Forever and the formation of his Elektric Band. Issued on The Meeting (Philips, 1984), Gulda and Corea communicate in lengthy improvisations mixing jazz (Someday My Prince Will Come and the lesser known Miles Davis song Put Your Foot Out) and classical music (Brahms’ Wiegenlied).

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  • URUTJATKA

    FINALLY, here is a man who absolutely knows how to play the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. NO fussiness. Just correct tempos especially good at that), correct phrasing (excellent!), and correct, unfussy articulations. When I hear him play Bach, I hear bach, NOT Gulda. In other words, I hear the music, not the performer.

    20 May 2010 Reply
  • upyano

    Love his Beethoven, and even more his Mozart sonatas..

    2 May 2010 Reply
  • DoglessEndeavor

    Same. I love his Beethoven but also prefer Kempff. Kempff's Hammerklavier is among the best performances of any piece I've ever heard.

    22 Feb 2010 Reply
  • e-electra

    Точно могу сказать, что это соната Моцарта

    16 Feb 2009 Reply
  • The_Creator

    progressive?? dear me.

    9 Jun 2008 Reply
  • indie-drummer

    he was a bit crazy, but he's my antetype

    22 Mar 2008 Reply
  • redtinkerbell

    brilliant pianist, tagged totally wrong here :(

    27 Jul 2007 Reply

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