Historic recitals this week. The legendary Paul Badura-Skoda, in concert at Xavier University on February 5, 1978 and captured for posterity by National Public Radio for the series Grand Piano, hosted by Fred Calland.
This all-Schubert concert consists of the Four Impromptus Op. 90, and Schubert’s last two Piano Sonatas; in A Major d.959 and B-flat Major d. 960 op. posthumous.
Paul Badura-Skoda has emerged as one of the great Pianists of the Post-World War 2 period. Having started his career in 1948, performing under such conductors as Wilhelm Furtwangler and Herbert von Karajan. It’s been said his career started at the top and stayed there.
He was also one of the mainstays of the early lp era, having recorded every Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert Piano Sonata for the Westminster Record Company in the early 1950s and in many cases, giving first-known recordings. Subsequently, his recordings became benchmarks, not only for piano enthusiasts, but for collectors during the early lp era.
He went on to re-recorded those complete sonatas and numerous other works by Ravel and Chopin several times over the years – going from the earliest days of lp to the latest digital recording. He has also performed in practically every city in the world, and has been noted for his scholarly activity in the areas of editing and publishing volumes of Mozart Piano concertos as well as writing books on the interpretation of piano music of Mozart and Bach, both being translated in several languages for students throughout the world.
Paul Badura-Skoda is still very much with us and very much involved in teaching and, at 89 still concertizes on four continents. He is, by all accounts, one of the last representatives of a generation for which music is the quintessence of European culture. Music reflects in each of the great composers the life and living style of his epoch, its striving for wisdom, sense, harmony, beauty, fulfillment in love as well as its search for the divine; a tradition carried on from his teacher, the legendary Edwin Fischer.
Hosted by Fred Calland of NPR, who helped make National Public Radio one of the great cultural Radio networks of the 1970s.
Turn it up and relax.