Thursday, March 8, 2012

Crowning glory

I like everything about this video. I love the energy. I love how Friedrich Gulda is wearing that jazz-musician kind of headgear and how he conducts from the keyboard and how he plays along with the opening tutti. I like Gulda's assertive playing.

So cool! All of it!

And such a cool concerto. It is funny how the "Coronation" Concerto gets kvetched about. People see it is second rate. I love it. Other people do not. On the other hand it is neat that a composition from 200 years ago is argued about. It is great that people look at it and debate it.

Leonard Pennario, whom I am writing my book about, he loved to play this concerto. I have a recording of him playing it with an orchestra in Toronto and when my book is out, you had better believe I am going to drop that recording by helicopter all over the Western Hemisphere. Because it is that great.

Although there is only one Pennario, Friedrich Gulda is pretty good too. Martha Argerich was one of his students, which is interesting. And he had jazz musician friends, hence the headdress. I love some of the comments on this video. I have to say this: I am addicted to YouTube comments. I love seeing what people write.

One person writes, in a nod to Gulda's fashion sense:

"I didn't know Qaddafi was playing the piano until now."


Another comment I like:

"I can't believe that the received wisdom maintains that Mozart was having an off day when he wrote this wonderful concerto. What sh-t people think and talk!"

Well, it is good that people argue. It keeps us pure.

Warning: The video above cuts off at a heartbreaking point. You will have to search around YouTube for Part 2 of the first movement.

Meanwhile here is the slow movement. Mozart does so much with so little. I like Gulda's modest embellishments.

And the third movement. I have always gotten from this a kind of mocking tone. There is this triumph about it that I love. A kind of nyaah-nyaah quality. But that might all be in my imagination.

In any case a heck of a concerto.

And a heck of a performance.

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