The Lebrecht Weekly: Friedrich Gulda – Symphony in G (SWR Musik)


This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

  • SWR Musik
  • User Ratings (0 Votes)

The Viennese pianist Friedrich Gulda was a commanding interpreter of Mozart and Beethoven in the 1950s and 1960s. Had he stuck to the classics and modified his more eccentric behaviours, he might have filled the space in the record catalogues that was soon occupied by Alfred Brendel.

Gulda, however, was a man of many parts. After giving his Carnegie Hall debut, he went off to play the Newport Jazz Festival. He wore a Turkish kepi on stage, sometimes otherwise naked.

His interest in jazz was non-pecuniary and all-consuming. He organized an international competition for modern jazz composers and set up a summer course in improvisation. In 1970 he wrote a symphony in G that combined classical string orchestra and jazz big band. It has three movements: Maestoso, Andante and Adagio. It is nearer Nuremburg than New Orleans.

But Gulda has a gift for melody and his slow movements are unassumedly affecting. He conducts the Stuttgart radio orchestra himself and, if you buy this release, you will be among the first to hear the symphony, since it has not been released before. Naive at worst, it has 35 minutes of invention which is more than can be said for most late 20th century symphonies. And if your attention does flag, skip to the bonus tracks of Gulda playing piano, when you will be instantly aware that you are in the presence of a master.


Sign on to the blogfeed:

Visit the website:

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


About Author

Norman Lebrecht is a prolific writer on music and cultural affairs. His blog, Slipped Disc, is one of the most popular sites for cultural news. He presents The Lebrecht Interview on BBC Radio 3 and is a contributor to several publications, including the Wall Street Journal and The Standpoint. Visit every Friday for his weekly CD review // Norman Lebrecht est un rédacteur prolifique couvrant les événements musicaux et Slipped Disc, est un des plus populaires sites de nouvelles culturelles. Il anime The Lebrecht Interview sur la BBC Radio 3 et collabore à plusieurs publications, dont The Wall Street Journal et The Standpoint. Vous pouvez lire ses critiques de disques chaque vendredi.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.