Friedrich Gulda — I Love Mozart and
I Love Barbara
Friedrich Gulda plays Mozart;
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — Fantasia in D minor, K397, Sonata in F
major K332, Fantasia in C minor K475, Sonata in C minor, K457, ‘Rosenarie’
from The Marriage of Figaro
Friedrich Gulda (piano)
Aria; Exercise No.9; Killer Joe; Stormy Weather Blues; Du und I
Friedrich Gulda (piano) and Barbara Dannerlein (organ, synthesizer)
rec. live, Munich Klaviersommer, 1990
Video director: Dieter Hens. Sound engineer: Martin Wieland
Sound format: PCM Stereo. Picture format: 4:3, Region Code: 0, DVD9
ARTHAUS MUSIK DVD 101
Friedrich Gulda, the maverick who faked his own death to laugh
at the obituaries, sits in a tea cosy cum skullcap opposite
Barbara Dannerlein, as resplendent as Nefertiti, her aquiline
nose perched above the keyboard of her organ and synthesiser.
The two musicians were united by a love of jazz that must have
bordered, if not transgressed into the carnal. There is an intense
if static physicality about their performance at the Munich
Klaviersommer in 1990, of which this DVD is a souvenir.
Together they play five pieces. Aria with its effortless
trills and richly romantic nineteenth-century ethos is a perplexing
start for the unwary, but Exercise No.9 — a cousin
of Brubeckian experimentation — launches jazz proper. His piano
cuts through better than her keyboard, so that the improvisational
onus is (acoustically at least) on Gulda. He was invariably
one of those players derided by jazz musicians as a busking
classical player, and by classical lovers as a dilettante. But
he shows in Benny Golson’s Killer Joe, the ultimate
Blues Vamp, that he has the chops for it, and Dannerlein, her
red hair plaited under a golden headdress, plays a ‘bass’ solo
on the pedals with adroit musicality. Her Stormy Weather
Blues is a cooking and down-home number, the kind of thing
that would do well in the steaming intimacy of a club. Gulda
sings Du und I, a precarious, heartfelt ballad, something
of a love song indeed, though he hasn’t Chet Baker’s special
brand of otherworldly vocal fragility.
The first half of the concert had been devoted to Gulda’s Mozart.
Gulda wears sweatshirt and violet skullcap. Violet colours flood
the stage, and the pianist’s headgear sports floral motifs.
Things are mellow, indeed almost groovy visually. The Fantasia
in D minor and Sonata in F major exude a rather extrovert air,
though the more athletic passages of the sonata’s finale imperil
the microphone, which goes bouncing around. Gulda has chosen
a characteristically interesting programme, rather mirror-facing
two fantasias and two sonatas. Cleverly he juxtaposes the near
contemporaneous Fantasia in C minor and the Sonata
in C minor—in the same key, two Köchel numbers apart. He ends
with the touching Rosenarie from The Marriage of
Figaro, during which we see Dennerlein listening intently.
Is this an essential DVD? No. Can you live without it? Of course
you can. Is it interesting? Yes.