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Gulda plays Beethoven [Box set]

Friedrich Gulda Audio CD
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Product details

  • Audio CD (11 July 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 11
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Universal Classics
  • ASIN: B0009A41ZQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 626,287 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.1 in F minor, Op.2 No.1 - 1. AllegroFriedrich Gulda 3:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.1 in F minor, Op.2 No.1 - 2. AdagioFriedrich Gulda 4:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.1 in F minor, Op.2 No.1 - 3. Menuetto (Allegretto)Friedrich Gulda 2:44£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.1 in F minor, Op.2 No.1 - 4. PrestissimoFriedrich Gulda 4:38£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.2 in A, Op.2 No.2 - 1. Allegro vivaceFriedrich Gulda 6:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.2 in A, Op.2 No.2 - 2. Largo appassionatoFriedrich Gulda 6:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.2 in A, Op.2 No.2 - 3. Scherzo (Allegretto)Friedrich Gulda 2:46£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.2 in A, Op.2 No.2 - 4. Rondo (Grazioso)Friedrich Gulda 5:43£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.3 in C, Op.2 No.3 - 1. Allegro con brioFriedrich Gulda 9:46£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.3 in C, Op.2 No.3 - 2. AdagioFriedrich Gulda 6:05£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.3 in C, Op.2 No.3 - 3. Scherzo (Allegro)Friedrich Gulda 3:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.3 in C, Op.2 No.3 - 4. Allegro assaiFriedrich Gulda 5:15£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.4 in E flat, Op.7 - 1. Allegro molto e con brioFriedrich Gulda 7:58£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.4 in E flat, Op.7 - 2. Largo, con gran espressioneFriedrich Gulda 7:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.4 in E flat, Op.7 - 3. AllegroFriedrich Gulda 4:56£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.4 in E flat, Op.7 - 4. Rondo (Poco allegretto e grazioso)Friedrich Gulda 6:05£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.5 in C minor, Op.10 No.1 - 1. Allegro molto e con brioFriedrich Gulda 5:26£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.5 in C minor, Op.10 No.1 - 2. Adagio moltoFriedrich Gulda 8:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.5 in C minor, Op.10 No.1 - 3. Finale (Prestissimo)Friedrich Gulda 4:07£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.6 in F, Op.10 No.2 - 1. AllegroFriedrich Gulda 5:14£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.6 in F, Op.10 No.2 - 2. AllegrettoFriedrich Gulda 3:31£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.6 in F, Op.10 No.2 - 3. PrestoFriedrich Gulda 4:08£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 3:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.7 in D, Op.10 No.3 - 1. PrestoFriedrich Gulda 7:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.7 in D, Op.10 No.3 - 2. Largo e mestoFriedrich Gulda 9:13£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.7 in D, Op.10 No.3 - 3. Menuetto (Allegro)Friedrich Gulda 2:58£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.7 in D, Op.10 No.3 - 4. Rondo (Allegro)Friedrich Gulda 3:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.8 in C minor, Op.13 -"Pathétique" - 1. Grave - Allegro di molto e con brioFriedrich Gulda 8:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.8 in C minor, Op.13 -"Pathétique" - 2. Adagio cantabileFriedrich Gulda 5:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.8 in C minor, Op.13 -"Pathétique" - 3. Rondo (Allegro)Friedrich Gulda 4:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.9 in E, Op.14 No.1 - 1. AllegroFriedrich Gulda 6:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.9 in E, Op.14 No.1 - 2. AllegrettoFriedrich Gulda 3:15£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.9 in E, Op.14 No.1 - 3. Rondo (Allegro comodo)Friedrich Gulda 2:56£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.10 in G, Op.14 No.2 - 1. AllegroFriedrich Gulda 7:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.10 in G, Op.14 No.2 - 2. AndanteFriedrich Gulda 5:02£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.10 in G, Op.14 No.2 - 3. Scherzo (Allegro assai)Friedrich Gulda 2:58£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 4:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.11 in B flat, Op.22 - 1. Allegro con brioFriedrich Gulda 7:29£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.11 in B flat, Op.22 - 2. Adagio con molto espressioneFriedrich Gulda 6:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.11 in B flat, Op.22 - 3. MenuettoFriedrich Gulda 3:02£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.11 in B flat, Op.22 - 4. Rondo (Allegretto)Friedrich Gulda 5:23£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.12 in A flat, Op.26 - 1. Andante con variazioniFriedrich Gulda 6:57£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.12 in A flat, Op.26 - 2. Scherzo (Allegro molto)Friedrich Gulda 2:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.12 in A flat, Op.26 - 3. Marcia funebre sulla morte d'un EroeFriedrich Gulda 7:53£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.12 in A flat, Op.26 - 4. AllegroFriedrich Gulda 2:34£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.13 in E flat, Op.27 No.1 - 1. Andante - Allegro - Tempo IFriedrich Gulda 5:41£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.13 in E flat, Op.27 No.1 - 2/3. Allegro molto e vivace...Adagio con espressioneFriedrich Gulda 4:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.13 in E flat, Op.27 No.1 - 4. Allegro vivace - Tempo I - PrestoFriedrich Gulda 5:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.14 in C sharp minor, Op.27 No.2 -"Moonlight" - 1. Adagio sostenutoFriedrich Gulda 7:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.14 in C sharp minor, Op.27 No.2 -"Moonlight" - 2. AllegrettoFriedrich Gulda 2:31£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.14 in C sharp minor, Op.27 No.2 -"Moonlight" - 3. PrestoFriedrich Gulda 7:16£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 5:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.15 in D, Op.28 -"Pastorale" - 1. AllegroFriedrich Gulda 9:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.15 in D, Op.28 -"Pastorale" - 2. AndanteFriedrich Gulda 5:46£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.15 in D, Op.28 -"Pastorale" - 3. Scherzo (Allegro assai)Friedrich Gulda 1:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.15 in D, Op.28 -"Pastorale" - 4. Rondo (Allegro ma non troppo)Friedrich Gulda 4:43£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.16 in G, Op.31 No.1 - 1. Allegro vivaceFriedrich Gulda 5:44£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.16 in G, Op.31 No.1 - 2. Adagio graziosoFriedrich Gulda 8:13£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.16 in G, Op.31 No.1 - 3. Rondo (Allegretto)Friedrich Gulda 5:47£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.17 in D minor, Op.31 No.2 -"Tempest" - 1. Largo - AllegroFriedrich Gulda 6:47£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.17 in D minor, Op.31 No.2 -"Tempest" - 2. AdagioFriedrich Gulda 8:26£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.17 in D minor, Op.31 No.2 -"Tempest" - 3. AllegrettoFriedrich Gulda 6:17£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 6:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.18 in E flat, Op.31 No.3 -"The Hunt" - 1. AllegroFriedrich Gulda 8:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.18 in E flat, Op.31 No.3 -"The Hunt" - 2. Scherzo (Allegretto vivace)Friedrich Gulda 4:38£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.18 in E flat, Op.31 No.3 -"The Hunt" - 3. Menuetto (Moderato e grazioso)Friedrich Gulda 3:54£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.18 in E flat, Op.31 No.3 -"The Hunt" - 4. Presto con fuocoFriedrich Gulda 4:26£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.19 in G minor, Op.49 No.1 - 1. AndanteFriedrich Gulda 5:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.19 in G minor, Op.49 No.1 - 2. Rondo (Allegro)Friedrich Gulda 3:07£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.20 in G, Op.49 No.2 - 1. Allegro ma non troppoFriedrich Gulda 4:21£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.20 in G, Op.49 No.2 - 2. Tempo di MenuettoFriedrich Gulda 3:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.21 in C, Op.53 -"Waldstein" - 1. Allegro con brioFriedrich Gulda 9:45£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.21 in C, Op.53 -"Waldstein" - 2. Introduzione (Adagio molto)Friedrich Gulda 3:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.21 in C, Op.53 -"Waldstein" - 3. Rondo (Allegretto moderato - Prestissimo)Friedrich Gulda 8:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.22 in F, Op.54 - 1. In Tempo d'un MenuettoFriedrich Gulda 5:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.22 in F, Op.54 - 2. AllegrettoFriedrich Gulda 5:27£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 7:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.23 in F minor, Op.57 -"Appassionata" - 1. Allegro assaiFriedrich Gulda 8:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.23 in F minor, Op.57 -"Appassionata" - 2. Andante con motoFriedrich Gulda 5:47£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.23 in F minor, Op.57 -"Appassionata" - 3. Allegro ma non troppoFriedrich Gulda 4:54£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.24 in F sharp, Op.78 "For Therese" - 1. Adagio cantabile - Allegro ma non troppoFriedrich Gulda 6:19£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.24 in F sharp, Op.78 "For Therese" - 2. Allegro vivaceFriedrich Gulda 2:48£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.25 in G, Op.79 - 1. Presto alla tedescaFriedrich Gulda 4:50£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.25 in G, Op.79 - 2. AndanteFriedrich Gulda 2:46£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.25 in G, Op.79 - 3. VivaceFriedrich Gulda 1:48£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.26 in E flat, Op.81a -"Les adieux" - 1. Das Lebewohl (Adagio - Allegro)Friedrich Gulda 6:31£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.26 in E flat, Op.81a -"Les adieux" - 2. Abwesendheit (Andante espressivo)Friedrich Gulda 3:37£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.26 in E flat, Op.81a -"Les adieux" - 3. Das Wiedersehn (Vivacissimamente)Friedrich Gulda 4:02£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.27 in E minor, Op.90 - 1. Mit Lebhaftigkeit und durchaus mit Empfindung und AusdruckFriedrich Gulda 5:02£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.27 in E minor, Op.90 - 2. Nicht zu geschwind und sehr singbar vorgetragenFriedrich Gulda 6:17£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 8:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.28 in A, Op.101 - 1. Etwas lebhaft und mit der innigsten Empfindung (Allegretto ma non troppo)Friedrich Gulda 4:00£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.28 in A, Op.101 - 2. Lebhaft, marschmäßig (Vivace alla marcia)Friedrich Gulda 6:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.28 in A, Op.101 - 3/4. Langsam und sehnsuchtsvoll...Geschwind, doch nicht zu sehrFriedrich Gulda10:16£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.29 in B flat, Op.106 -"Hammerklavier" - 1. AllegroFriedrich Gulda 9:34£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.29 in B flat, Op.106 -"Hammerklavier" - 2. Scherzo (Assai vivace - Presto - Prestissimo - Tempo I)Friedrich Gulda 2:21£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.29 in B flat, Op.106 -"Hammerklavier" - 3. Adagio sostenutoFriedrich Gulda15:44£1.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.29 in B flat, Op.106 -"Hammerklavier" - 4. Largo - Allegro risolutoFriedrich Gulda10:37£1.49  Buy MP3 


Disc 9:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.30 in E, Op.109 - 1. Vivace, ma non troppo - Adagio espressivo - Tempo IFriedrich Gulda 3:31£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.30 in E, Op.109 - 2. PrestissimoFriedrich Gulda 2:47£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.30 in E, Op.109 - 3. Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung (Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo)Friedrich Gulda12:08£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.31 in A flat, Op.110 - 1. Moderato cantabile molto espressivoFriedrich Gulda 6:56£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.31 in A flat, Op.110 - 2. Allegro moltoFriedrich Gulda 2:14£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.31 in A flat, Op.110 - 3. Adagio ma non troppo - Fuga (Allegro ma non troppo)Friedrich Gulda 3:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.31 in A flat, Op.110 - 4. Fuga (Allegro ma non troppo)Friedrich Gulda 6:43£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.32 in C minor, Op.111 - 1. Maestoso - Allegro con brio ed appassionatoFriedrich Gulda 8:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.32 in C minor, Op.111 - 2. Arietta (Adagio molto semplice e cantabile)Friedrich Gulda16:11£2.29  Buy MP3 


Disc 10:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.7 in C minor, Op.30 No.2 - 1. Allegro con brioRuggiero Ricci 7:15£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.7 in C minor, Op.30 No.2 - 2. Adagio cantabileRuggiero Ricci10:24£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.7 in C minor, Op.30 No.2 - 3. Scherzo (Allegro)Ruggiero Ricci 3:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.7 in C minor, Op.30 No.2 - 4. Finale (Allegro)Ruggiero Ricci 4:48£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Beethoven: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.10 in G, Op.96 - 1. Allegro moderatoRuggiero Ricci 9:38£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beethoven: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.10 in G, Op.96 - 2. Adagio espressivoRuggiero Ricci 6:25£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Beethoven: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.10 in G, Op.96 - 3. Scherzo (Allegro)Ruggiero Ricci 2:07£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Beethoven: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.10 in G, Op.96 - 4. Poco allegrettoRuggiero Ricci 8:01£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 11:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.1 in C major, Op.15 - 1. Allegro con brioFriedrich Gulda18:50£2.29  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.1 in C major, Op.15 - 2. LargoKarl Böhm12:28£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.1 in C major, Op.15 - 3. Rondo (Allegro scherzando)Friedrich Gulda 8:57£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: 15 Piano Variations and Fugue in E flat, Op.35 -"Eroica Variations" - 15 Piano Variations and Fugue in E flat, Op.35 - "Eroica Variations"Friedrich Gulda22:07£2.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Beethoven: 6 Bagatelles, Op.126 - 2. AllegroFriedrich Gulda 2:45£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beethoven: 6 Bagatelles, Op.126 - 3. AndanteFriedrich Gulda 2:16£0.79  Buy MP3 


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't blame it on the moonlight... 1 Aug 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
During the course of his career Gulda earned a reputation and as an enfant terrible of the classical scene, a reputation which he appears to have cultivated quite assiduously. Yet back in the 1950s, as the notes to this edition point out, Gulda was regarded as the most promising young talent of his day ahead of names like Brendel. Listen to this and you can hear why. Gulda's Beethoven is robust and forthright. His playing is muscular, his tempi are generally quite fast and he seems on the whole more interested in illuminating the structure of the pieces rather than their lyricism when this is called. This approach is the antithesis of Kempff, but Gulda brings it off perfectly. A real oddity in the set is Gulda's performance of the first movement of the so-called Moonlight sonata. He plays this very slowly and does not lift the pedal at all - creating a ghostly and resonant effect that is at first shocking and later mesmeric. Actually he takes literally Beethoven's instructions to play the piece without dampeners. This interpretation alone has to be heard. The set also contains piano concerto and a couple of violin sonatas. The drawback is the 1950s sound quality. Admirers of Gulda might also check out his 1969 set -recorded for the Austrian label Amadeo and now available from Brilliant classics. For what it is worth, I prefer this Decca one.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have 24 Oct 2005
By Igor Kriz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This collection is a must have for anyone seriously interested

in Beethoven's piano sonatas. Gulda is one of the very

best pianists of the 20th century, and the Beethoven

sonatas are his specialty. Although Gulda's reputation

was confused by his later involvement with jazz, this has no

bearing on his classical performances, which are superb. The

present collection is nothing short of a musical epiphany.

Gulda's performance of Beethoven

sonatas is possibly the very best in one

direction of interpretation of

these pieces (S. Richter's being almost exactly opposite).

To start with, Gulda has supreme technique, by far

surpassing even the high demands of Beethoven, and

therefore plays exactly as he intends, which is very subtle.

Gulda has an amazing range of touches in the

left hand, from a wonderful

dry rapping or knocking sound (Op. 2 no. 2,

movement 2) to rumbling sounds, to unparallelled pianissimo

(Op.13, movement 2), to attacks

(Op. 111, movement 1). In his right hand,

he has wonderful articulation throughout

all the sonatas. For the way Gulda hanldes an

extremely difficult passage, listen, for example, to the arpeggio

cadenza in Op. 57, movement 1. For wonderful use of dynamics

and smooth transitions between pianos and fortes, listen

to Op. 31, no. 1. Gulda's feeling for syncopation is

absolutely superb (Op.2 no.2 movement 4, Op. 57, movement 3).

For a Kafka-like

mood, listen to Op. 57, movement 2. The ultimate test

of any Beethoven piano interpreter is the Hammerklavier

sonata (Op.106). Gulda is great in movements 1, 2 and 3, but I

would say Gulda's is one of the very few intelligible

performances of the Fugue in movement 4 I ever

heard recorded. This piece is extremely

difficult in the conflict of tempo, fugal elements and

melodic sonata forms. Beethoven himself considered

the Hammerklavier sonata his best piano piece.

Gulda gets it all seemingly without any exertion,

with plenty of room to spare.

In a Gulda performance, the

Beethoven sonatas flow naturally, and the

flow is never interrupted. Listening to these performances

is always a joy, and is extremely instructive for any

pianist.

There are a number of other treats in this set, for

example the wonderful violin sonatas performed by

Ricci and Gulda.

The only drawback is the relatively low

technical quality of the early recordings, but this

is to be expected in a recording from the 50's.

However, listening to this performance is well

worth it.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Traversal 3 May 2007
By K. Bowersock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I first became interested in the pianism of Friedrich Gulda when I picked up a disc of Mozart concertos with him, Abbado, and the Vienna Philharmonic (in nos. 20 and 21 [which are still available]). It never crossed my mind that this Mozart disc, which I snagged as a cheap impulse buy, would immediately rival and eventually surpass the Perahia recordings of those two concertos (which just happened to be my favorite at the time). What struck me most about Gulda's technique was the crispness and overall clarity of his playing. What's best is that he achieved this clarity without the slightest hint of dryness; from that moment on, I became a devoted Gulda fan.

Here we have what I believe to be the summit of Gulda's recorded legacy: his first epic traversal of the 32 Beethoven sonatas. He made two, with the second being, I believe, the lesser of the two giants. More staccato, very speedy playing, and less warmth is how I would characterize his later recording (but with better sonics) - it's still a great set, just not quite as great as the one we have here.

Interpretation-wise, Gulda is far from the Post-war Germanic style of plodding, ponderous tempos. Quick, crisp playing is the norm here, and it is a nice contrast to Arrau and Barenboim's (EMI) classic sets. Gulda really shines in the early sonatas, especially in the slow movements (and even more specifically, in the slow movements of op. 7 and op. 10 [nos. 2 and 3], which are truly heart wrenching). His interpretations of the early masterpieces have a Mozartian tautness to them, while still implementing ample legato phrasing when called for. I feel safe to say that few would be disappointed with Gulda's way here.

As for the middle sonatas, some may find a little more to gripe about, but not much. His interpretations are still outstanding in my own opinion, but some may feel they lack the same perfection that Gulda achieves in the early and late sonatas. The first movement of the "Moonlight" is.....well, interesting. Slow, very slow (on par with Solomon), and Gulda tends to blend and overlap all the modulating harmonies throughout (almost as if his foot was cemented to the pedal for the entire first movement). I believe it to be a welcomed change from the standard. The "Waldstein" will be a bit on the fast side for some listeners (indeed, it may be the fastest I have ever heard - in all three movements); however, his way with the "Pastorale" and "Tempest" is nothing short of spectacular. Particularly noteworthy are Op. 78 and 79, which I believe get definitive performances.

When I reached the late sonatas (starting with op. 90) on this 11 disc set, I was truly in awe. Gulda certainly gave my previous reference recordings (Pollini, Arrau, Solomon, and Rosen) a good run for their money. The only weak-link here is the "Hammerklavier", which is a much earlier recording (1951- and it sounds every bit its age). Gulda just does not seem to be in the same mindset as he was with the others. Sharp, disjointed, and overall choppy playing is how I would characterize it (although he does have some fantastic things to say in the slow movement and final fugue). Never-mind though, this is a minor quibble in an otherwise stunning set. The final three sonatas get near definitive readings, and in op. 111 Gulda is rivaled only by Solomon (and even then, he is not surpassed). You also get what I like to call two "bonus" discs containing the C major piano concerto, two violin sonatas, the "Eroica" variations, and two Bagatelles. These are all early recordings, and the sound is dated, but the music-making is still first rate (particularly in the two violin sonatas).

As far as the sound goes overall, it's not bad. There are 14 sonatas in mono - (op. 2 [1,2,3]/ op. 7/ op. 10 [1,2,3]/ op. 13/ op. 14 [1,2] / op. 49 [1,2]/ op. 81/ and op.106), the rest are in early stereo (all the "bonus" material is mono). Overall the sound is pretty good, with the late mono recordings (1954, '55, '57, '58) being just as good, if not better than the early stereo recordings. There is still a good deal of surface "hiss" present in the early stereo takes, which I believe Decca could have done a better job at reducing. Nevertheless, the sound is more then adequate for these timeless recordings.

So overall, this is a truly distinctive set of the immortal 32 by one of the great Beethoven interpreters of the twentieth century. The price tag is outstanding, and the music-making is priceless. It's certainly a welcomed addition to the "Original Masters" series, and more importantly, a more then justified addition to any Beethoven shelf.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You have to be on Gulda's wavelength, and tolerant of some bad sound 8 Feb 2010
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Friedrich Gulda lost a good deal of his classical credibility -- no doubt unfairly -- when he moved to jazz, but to grasp what he was, you need to respond to a protean talent that enjoyed crossing boundaries. In Beethoven his mercurial imagination led to quite a lot of fast, staccato playing that feels impatient to me, although as the enthusiastic reviewers state, his style can be delightful in the early sonatas. He reaches his peak in this early cycle with the "Pathetique," "Hunt," and "Tempest" sonatas. I enjoyed his slow first movement in the "Moonlight," but slow with Gulda doesn't necessarily mean more romantic -- there's not much of that in him. His "Waldstein" and "Appassionata" turn their backs on Beethoven's declared passions, and one begins to feel that Gulda takes a stand against "depth" in general. Therefore, my own connection with him is hit-and-miss. I find myself responding to his mind far more than his heart.

The late sonatas are puzzling and do not reveal themselves through any set preconception. They are a test of individual insight and interpretative persuasion. Gulda hits quite a few peaks here, and there were stretches when I could see what his die-hard fans are saying. I don't hear why one of the five-star reviewers finds this "Hammerklavier" a failure in particular; Gulda is no more impatient here than in many other places, and I find his reading coherent and involving. He certainly communicates through the first movement's difficulties easily (although to claim that he has a "surpassing" technique seems exaggerated). The mono sound is dull, which is true of the twelve sonatas recorded in mono; some are tubby, in fact, and hiss varies from moderate to extreme.

What keeps me from giving more praise is Gulda's habit of setting a tempo or, more often, a mood and not varing it enough. Try the tenderly lyrical finale of Op. 109, which is too plain-faced. The Fuga finale of Op. 110 is taken considerably slower than Beethoven's Allegro ma non troppo -- not that Gulda is alone in this -- and achieves a convincing gravitas: it's one of the best movements in the whole cycle and comes in good stereo sound. The same holds true for Op. 111, as far as gravitas and sound go. In general, the late sonatas convince me that they are lived in, but Gulda lacks the strong profile of great Beethoven interpreters like Serkin, Edwin Fischer, and Schnabel.

As a cycle, this one has the kinds of ups and downs I find in those by Kempff, Brendel, Goode, and Arrau. If you are on Gulda's wavelength, he can be very satisfying, but in the end Brendel, Goode, and Kempff, all of whom resemble Gulda stylistically, are more consistent.
6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early Gulda in fine form 20 Feb 2008
By King Lemuel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I have to differ with the other reviewer's comments that "this collection is a must have for anyone seriously interested in Beethoven's piano sonatas." It is instead a nice collection that borders on historical due to its poor recorded sound, especially the early 1950s mono recordings.

This set is of interest mostly to those who are fans of Gulda and are curious about his early recordings. If you are new to Beethoven's sonatas and are looking for your first set, you really should consider spending your 90 bucks on a modern great sounding stereo set or even consider buying the recently released Barenboim live DVD Complete Sonatas Box (8 recitals) on Deutsche Grammophon. Gulda's later stereo set costs around 30 bucks via Amazon Marketplace!

Some of the mono in this set does not sound as good as my Arthur Schnabel Beethoven Sonata Cycle recorded in the 1930s. Both the mono and stereo sonata recordings have tape hiss like sounds that are noticeable especially during the slower movements.
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