FRIEDRICH GULDA (1930-2000): Variations on “Light My Fire”, Play Piano Play “10 Pieces for Yuko”, Prelude and Fugue, Sonatine, Für Rico, Für Paul.
Catalogue Number: 06T056
Label: Grand Piano
Description: A terrific selection of the multi-talented - and how! - Gulda's compositions, the product of a sui generis creative spirit if ever there were one. The blisteringly virtuosic Variations on The Doors' "Light My Fire" alone are worth the price of admisstion. This is arguably Gulda's masterwork for his instrument, fifteen minutes of white-hot pianistic bravura and astonishing inventiveness. Gulda never belabours the extremely well known rock song origins of the work, but it is constantly present, subjected to jaw-dropping jazz transformations of every type, assembled with the formal skill of the greatest 'classical' composers - many of whom, of course, were Gulda's 'tutors' through his parallel performing career. This problem, of trying to categorize Gulda's music (probably better not to try) also applies to his Prelude and Fugue; what do you call a piece of toe-tapping jazz piano that just happens to be a perfectly formed prelude and fugue that would make any Baroque master proud? Or a classically proportioned three-movement sonatina in a jazz vocabulary? Also here, the ten short studies in jazz style of Play Piano Play - studies for playing Gulda's music, really - form an engaging, lighthearted jazz suite, presenting a series of traditional jazz styles effortlessly incorporated into the idiom of the concert hall. Two affectionate and attractive, but sophisticated, little pieces written for two of Gulda's sons, who have become notable pianists in their own right, are included as encores. Martin David Jones (piano).