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.
Friedrich Gulda, who died in the year 2000, always had a two-way ticket between classical music and jazz.. Trained as a classical pianist, he acquired a liking for jazz by attending jazz clubs in New York. In 1988, he gave two concerts in Cologne with another Vienna-born pianist – Joe Zawinul – and the results are on this CD.