Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:


Piano Concerto No. 2
Piano Concerto No. 3

Friedrich Gulda (piano)
Vienna PO/Horst Stein
rec 1971
ELOQUENCE 467 424 2 [63.54]

Commentary on the Eloquence series

Not a great deal to be said of these two concertos. Gulda (who died recently) an artist bridging other people's divides (he was a composer and active as a jazz musician) is a stylish pianist playing in the grand manner. His control of dynamics and 'breathing' is remarkable. He lacks nothing in legato or celerity with notes flowing like molten silver. The recording tends to a hard edge which asserts itself most obviously in the violins and the piano tone at forte and above. You can subdue some of this through the tone control but it is still there. Grand manner performances ably aided by the beefy ebb and flow of Vienna's premier orchestra. Stein is a fine conductor - witness his Sibelius tone poem series on Decca with the Suisse Romande (an orchestra he seems to have enchanted for those sessions). A pity about the hard leading edge to the sound. Even so I would hope that Eloquence will trawl for the rest of the Gulda/Stein cycle in the Decca vaults.

Rob Barnett

Reviews from previous months

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