Friedrich Gulda, piano. Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester. Mario Rossi, conductor.
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Lovers of Beethoven and of piano mastery will find much to savor in these deeply artistic concerts from February 1957. Conductor, orchestra, and pianist are perfectly in synch in these emotionally resonant, not-to-be-missed interpretations. Like Beethoven, Friedrich Gulda was a bit of an iconoclast.
"This performance of the Third has not only Szell but also Toscanini and everyone else in the universe beat flat down into the ground…. Gulda's extended cadenza at the end of the first movement is nothing short of brilliant…. Not only does Gulda give the full measure of Beethoven in the concerto, but also his is far and away the greatest 'Appassionata' I've ever heard…. Sonata No. 28 is given one of its most finely chiseled readings, at moments both more introspective and more explosive than any other version."—Fanfare