Originally released in 1973 as a 9-LP set, it presents a comprehensive survey of Friedrich Gulda's accomplishments as a superb composer and performer of works crossing the lines between classical music and jazz. This 5-CD box set features extensive new and original liner notes, song lyrics and rare photos in a 48-page beautiful booklet! It's really a rich "midlife harvest" of work by the Austrian genius of the universal music - a key figure in the intersection between jazz and modern music on the European scene of the postwar years, represented here by a wealth of recordings done for Preiser, Decca and MPS during the 60s and 70s.
Believed to have been composed between August 1775 and January 1777, the Concerto In E Flat Major for two pianos technically counts as being the tenth of Mozart's twenty-seven concertos, that huge and prodigious body that would set the standards for all piano concertos from Mozart's time forward. Although it is not performed with the same frequency as his later works (especially the final eight concertos, 20-27), this "Double" piano concerto, believed to have been composed by Mozart for performance by him and his sister Maria Anna ("Nannerl"), is nevertheless a fascinating experiment of Mozart's, one that requires a pair of solid keyboard virtuosos to do (and for the composer's Seventh piano concerto, you needed three soloists). Fortunately on this 1984 Teldec recording, we have the required two keyboard virtuosos, both of whom come from very divergent musical backgrounds. Austrian-born pianist Friedrich Gulda came from a classical music background and began exploring jazz later on in his life; while Chick Corea is one of the best-known pianists in American jazz music, and, like fellow jazz musicians Wynton Marsalis and Herbie Hancock, developed a great feel for classical music.
This compilation features recordings made between 1950 and 1959 and proves the outstanding pianist to be an equally brilliant and exciting performer of the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Weber, Chopin, Debussy, Ravel and Strauss. In addition the compilation boasts highlights from the legendary 1956 Birdland sessions.
Friedrich Gulda was frequently called "eccentric," mainly because he was one of those rare musicians who could see the connections between classical music and jazz, and because he could perform equally well in both arenas. Joe Zawinul is another pianist who "gets" it, and he and Gulda frequently collaborated. This recording is from two concerts they did together in May 1988 at one of Gulda's festivals, and it tries to straddle the line between classical and jazz.