8 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 1999, when Viennese pianist Friedrich Gulda faked his death to promote a “resurrection party” concert, it was hardly the first time that his singular eccentricities caused flutters of scandal throughout classical world. Here was a talented classical pianist who'd only produced a handful of stellar recordings before making an adventurous departure into modern jazz and picking up the baritone saxophone. He'd once even played a concert on recorders, naked, with his wife, in Vienna's most hallowed hall. Gulda's midcentury recordings of Bach's Well Tempered Clavier and Beethoven's piano sonatas are marvels, but he seemed to despise the classical music culture surrounding him. In 1969, Gulda rejected a sought-after award, Vienna's Beethoven Ring. For Gulda, there was more to life, and to music, and he never stopped searching for it, or infuriating his fans and critics. He improvised during classical performances, and eventually became a jazz-club regular who played for a DJ's techno sessions as he neared the real end of his life in 2000.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 1999, when Viennese pianist Friedrich Gulda faked his death to promote a “resurrection party” concert, it was hardly the first time that his singular eccentricities caused flutters of scandal throughout classical world. Here was a talented classical pianist who'd only produced a handful of stellar recordings before making an adventurous departure into modern jazz and picking up the baritone saxophone. He'd once even played a concert on recorders, naked, with his wife, in Vienna's most hallowed hall. Gulda's midcentury recordings of Bach's Well Tempered Clavier and Beethoven's piano sonatas are marvels, but he seemed to despise the classical music culture surrounding him. In 1969, Gulda rejected a sought-after award, Vienna's Beethoven Ring. For Gulda, there was more to life, and to music, and he never stopped searching for it, or infuriating his fans and critics. He improvised during classical performances, and eventually became a jazz-club regular who played for a DJ's techno sessions as he neared the real end of his life in 2000.

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