»The First Recordings«

Somewhere I have a tape of Gulda and Cecil Taylor as a duet. I wonder if that got on a record. Cecil Taylor like Derek has this precious thing in their performing that they never quite really play »with« you. They play next or around you when not: you’re played by them. I must say that here, cause to some extent such early recordings of classics amongst classics (Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy or Prokofieff all made in London during 1947 and ’49), force one to fight against a particular situation probably as uncertain and possibly embarrassing as the two Machiavelli’s Master Improviser named before. See the times (47-49) in classical music business were pretty tied, locked, stiff and even harsh if you wanted to open up a bit. But Gulda took another direction here already, he chose to fulfil the demand of a certain sound and »touché«, also a certain Romantic mood to it, while escaping in his mind (I give you that and you leave me this). Meanwhile what remains of all that are certain interpretations you wouldn’t hear anymore (Bach or Beethoven played very closely). A great document more than the versions I want to listen to over the years.


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Noël Akchoté



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