Album: Friedrich Gulda, Chopin (Deutsche Grammophon)

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It's interesting to compare the recent glut of young pianists' fastidious interpretations of Chopin with these previously unreleased mid-fifties concert performances by the young Friedrich Gulda.

There's a freedom to Gulda's approach which brings the music vividly to life, in a manner which would doubtless be frowned upon today – but then, he was the original "terrorist pianist" with a taste for free jazz, who played with Chick Corea. Also included are a more disciplined 1954 studio recording of the "Piano Concerto No 1"; and more revealingly, an improvised sequence, "Epitaph für eine Liebe", in which the pianist sings along bluesily, like some melancholy offspring of Mose Allison and Keith Jarrett.

Download this Ballade No 1 in G minor Op 23; Nocturne in C minor Op 48 No 1; Epitaph für eine Liebe