Notes and Editorial Reviews
This German radio recital, recorded in the SWR studios on June 3, 1959, captures the young Friedrich Gulda on fine form. The Bach Capriccio stands out for the pianist's sensitive harmonic pointing of the Adagiosissimo's sublime chromaticism, while the Haydn F minor Variations grow more nuanced and songful over the course of Gulda's performance. There are wittier, brasher, more humorously gauged Haydn E-flats, to be sure, but Gulda's stylish surety and rapid dynamic shifts consistently reveal a master's hands, and his special handling of the finale's bass lines shouldn't go unnoticed.
Following a lyrical, ruminative rendition of the Beethoven Op. 14 No. 2 first movement, Gulda offers a superbly accentuated and animated
Andante. The concluding Scherzo's ascending phrases evoke Schnabel at his best in their seeming offhandedness and impetuous gait, seasoned with stinging yet never exaggerated dynamic contrasts. Op. 110 was something of a signature work for Gulda, and the excellent mono engineering conveys the pianist's warm, communicative, and well integrated interpretation to more attractive sonic effect than in his two Decca studio versions. Gulda fans need no further recommendation.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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