Joseph Keilberth;  Friedrich Gulda  -  Brahms, Schumann, Strauss  (Orfeo C 746 071)
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Joseph Keilberth;  Friedrich Gulda  -  Brahms, Schumann, Strauss  (Orfeo C 746 071)
C1854. JOSEPH KEILBERTH Cond. Vienna S.O.: Symphony #3 in F (Brahms); Till Eulenspiegel (Strauss); w.FRIEDRICH GULDA: Piano Concerto in a (Schumann). (Austria) Orfeo C 746 071, Live Performance, 4 May, 1955, Musikverein, Vienna. Final Sealed Copy! - 4011790745128

CRITIC REVIEWS:

"Joseph Keilberth was a German conductor active during the mid-twentieth century. His talents developed early: he pursued a general education and musical training in Karlsruhe, and at the age of seventeen joined the Karlsruhe State Theater as a répétiteur (vocal coach - a common starting place for European conductors). He remained with the theater and ten years later he was appointed general music director.

He remained there until 1940, when he was appointed chief conductor of the German Philharmonic Orchestra of Prague. He became chief conductor of the Dresden State Opera in 1945. With a minimum of disruption for deNazification he remained in that position until 1950. In 1949 he became chief conductor of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, which was in fact a reunion. After the War, the German population of the Sudetenland (the German-speaking part of Czechoslovakia), which had been the excuse for Hitler's occupation of the country, were returned to Germany, and with them went the German Philharmonic of Prague, Keilberth's old orchestra, which settled in Bamberg. Causing unwary biographers some confusion, he also became the chief conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic in 1950.

He frequently appeared as a guest conductor elsewhere in Germany, notably with the Berlin Philharmonic and, beginning in 1952, the Bayreuth Festival, and appeared regularly at the Salzburg and Lucerne festivals. In 1952 he also led his first performance in the Edinburgh Festival with the Hamburg State Opera.

He was a favored conductor for the RING and other operas through 1956. In 1959 he succeeded Ferenc Fricsay at the helm of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. There, history repeated itself. Keilberth died after collapsing during a performance of Wagner's TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, just as Felix Mottl—conductor at the same theater - had done in 1911.

Keilberth was very strong in Mozart and in the Wagnerian repertory, and in later German classics such as Pfitzner, Bruckner, Richard Strauss, Max Reger, and Paul Hindemith. His classic recordings included Hindemith's opera CARDILLAC.”

- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com



“Friedrich Gulda, an iconoclastic Austrian pianist and composer who was as renowned for his jazz performances as for the intellectual clarity of his Bach, Mozart and Beethoven interpretations, rebelled against the formalities of the classical music world in grand and often comical ways. In the 1950s, he began sitting in with jazz bands - sometimes celebrated ones, like Dizzy Gillespie's - while he was touring as a recitalist and concerto soloist. By the mid-1950s he was including jazz improvisations on his recital programs, and by the early 1970s he was refusing to announce his recital programs in advance. He reportedly once performed a concert in the nude.

His eccentricities had a marked effect on the classical side of Mr. Gulda's career: he went from being a pianist once described by Harold C. Schonberg in THE NEW YORK TIMES as ‘a continuation of the great German traditions of piano playing exemplified by Schnabel and Backhaus’ to one with a small but devoted following.

Although it often seemed that he had torpedoed the classical side of his career with misguided antics, Mr. Gulda usually gave the impression that his rebellion was rooted in deeply held principles. Having accepted the Beethoven Bicentennial Ring from the Vienna Academy of Music in 1970, he quickly reconsidered and returned it, citing his objections to the conservativism of classical music education.

Still, listeners who kept tabs on Mr. Gulda through his recordings were rewarded by illuminating performances in which the elucidation of musical structure was prized over virtuosic flashiness. His recording of both books of Bach's ‘Well-Tempered Clavier’ on the Philips label is highly regarded among collectors and he was represented by two volumes in the Philips Records ‘Great Pianists of the 20th Century’ compendium. Typically, his installments included George Shearing's ‘Lullaby of Birdland’ alongside the Chopin Ballades and a Beethoven concerto.

His interest in jazz blossomed in the 1950s as well. Although he had performed improvisatory jazz informally during his earlier American tours, in 1956 he made a celebrated debut at Birdland in New York. He also performed at the Newport Jazz Festival. He started several groups of his own, from small combos to a big band, the Eurojazz Orchestra. In 1968 he established the International Musikforum, a school for students who wanted to learn improvisation, in Ossiach, Austria.

He never abandoned classical music, but he insisted that his jazz and classical performing be regarded as equal aspects of his musical personality, with composition often bridging the two. His discography frequently drove home that point.”

- Allan Kozinn, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 29 Jan., 2000