Austrian pianist and composer Friedrich Gulda performs Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466. Gulda also conducts the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.
Friedrich Gulda (16 May 1930 – 27 January 2000) was an Austrian pianist and composer who worked in both the classical and jazz fields.
Although most famous for his Mozart and Beethoven interpretations, Gulda also performed the music of J. S. Bach (often on clavichord), Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Debussy and Ravel. His recordings of Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier are well regarded by collectors. Apart from the Well Tempered Clavier, Gulda performed very few other pieces by Bach and recorded even fewer. Gulda’s later reliance on co-operating with companies whose recording techniques were primitive in comparison to those espoused by more sophisticated rivals stood him in very poor stead with regard to posterity. The rescued Mozart sonata tapes issued on DG are unbelievably bad in terms of recorded technical quality; likewise the Debussy Preludes and Bach recordings of the late 60s and early 70s.
From the 1950s on Gulda cultivated a professional interest in jazz, and in Free improvisation or open music improvisations, writing songs (he also recorded as a vocalist under the pseudonym “Albert Golowin” – and using trick photography the very mischievous Gulda even combined film footages and still images of himself – wearing a wig and a fake beard as a disguise – as “Friedrich Gulda and Albert Golowin performing together”, to his delight fooling the music critics for years [“It was great fun while it lasted!” – exclaimed Gulda], until finally someone figured out that Friedrich Gulda and Albert Golowin were the same person…), and instrumental pieces, and at times combining jazz, free music, and classical music in his concerts.
Gulda died on January 27, 2000, the same date when his favorite composer Mozart was born (January 27, 1756).