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#1446639 - 05/30/10 02:30 PM Brendel's Strange Repertoire  
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I think he played mostly Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and liszt. It seems quite strange to me that a single Romantic composer would appeal so much to someone whose other rep was so strongly centered on the Classical Austrian Germanic music. He seems to have loved Liszt but played almost no other Romantic composers (Chopin, Schumann, Brahms) or Impressionists (Ravel, Debussy.

Of course, one likes what one likes. But I don't think other pianists who play mostly the German-Austrian classical and early Romantic repertoire play(ed) much Liszt. I'm thinking of pianists like Schnabel, Serkin(although I guess he varied more from the Germanic literature than Brendel), Uchida, Fischer, etc.

Thoughts?

Last edited by pianoloverus; 05/30/10 02:38 PM.
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#1446641 - 05/30/10 02:39 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: pianoloverus]  
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I have a recording of Brendel playing Schumann's Fantasiestucke, and another set of fantasy pieces by Schumann that escape me right now...

#1446642 - 05/30/10 02:43 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Here, as opposed to there
I don't find his repertoire strange at all. He certainly is a champion of Liszt and while probably best known for his Beethoven (my personal favorite), he did venture outside of his comfort zone and became closely associated with the Schoenberg Concerto. Believe it, or not, his first recording was of the Prokofiev 5th concerto. He's one of my idols and I'm extremely disappointed that I was never able to hear him live.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

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#1446643 - 05/30/10 02:47 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: stores]  
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There are videos of Brendel playing Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata on Youtube that are impressive, also.

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#1446645 - 05/30/10 02:51 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: stores]  
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I don't find Brendel's Liszt repertory strange at all.

If you've ever seen The Art of Piano, I believe it was Sandor that said "we like to classify pianists..." as in, "why do we do that? And what's the use?" A great pianist is a great pianist (queue: someone bringing up Horowitz's Beethoven...)

Also, there's an interview with Uchida on YT where she talks about her "peculiar" repertory, namely Ravel, Messiaen etc.

-Daniel


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#1446646 - 05/30/10 02:52 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: Orange Soda King]  
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He played Stravinsky's Pétrouchka and Balakirev's Islamey on Vox/Turnabout in the 60's and Mussorgski's Pictures, one wouldn't believe that nowadays, and he played them wonderfully, on record that is, I don't think he ever played them really, i.e. live..


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#1446647 - 05/30/10 02:54 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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Brendel has a very fascinating essay on concert repetoire, programs and his views on how to pick a good one, also speaks about concerts and how to 'balance' pieces. He's a very interesting writer, in addition to being a pianist - if you haven't read any of his essays give them a read. It's impossible to agree with everything he says, of course, but he has an extreme talent for putting musical ideas into words.

#1446649 - 05/30/10 02:56 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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Here is his strangest.

#1446650 - 05/30/10 02:57 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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Originally Posted by dolce sfogato
He played Stravinsky's Pétrouchka and Balakirev's Islamey on Vox/Turnabout in the 60's and Mussorgski's Pictures, one wouldn't believe that nowadays, and he played them wonderfully, on record that is, I don't think he ever played them really, i.e. live..
Yes, I'm aware of that because there are a few recordings by composers like that on Youtube. But for a long time during his career he seemes to have played almost exclusively the composers I listed.

#1446657 - 05/30/10 03:06 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: pianoloverus]  
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I think I can understand why he combined the Viennese Classics with Liszt, the KISS must be the missing link, haha, but seriously, in a time when Franz/Ferenc wasn't considered by many to be highbrow music, Alfred Brendel did exacttly the right thing: play him, and play him well!, I think his, Brendel's that is, legacy would be, amongst other things, getting Liszt being taken seriously, a great job!


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
#1446660 - 05/30/10 03:06 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: Ridicolosamente]  
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Originally Posted by Ridicolosamente
Also, there's an interview with Uchida on YT where she talks about her "peculiar" repertory, namely Ravel, Messiaen etc.
Yes, but she says her main rep is the German Austrian Classical rep plus some contemporary.

#1446672 - 05/30/10 03:36 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: Mattardo]  
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Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted by Mattardo
Brendel has a very fascinating essay on concert repetoire, programs and his views on how to pick a good one, also speaks about concerts and how to 'balance' pieces. He's a very interesting writer, in addition to being a pianist - if you haven't read any of his essays give them a read. It's impossible to agree with everything he says, of course, but he has an extreme talent for putting musical ideas into words.


Yes, very true. His essays are excellent. He also writes poetry.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

#1446673 - 05/30/10 03:38 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
... for a long time during his career he seemes to have played almost exclusively the composers I listed.


What's your point?



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

#1446676 - 05/30/10 03:45 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: stores]  
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Originally Posted by stores
I don't find his repertoire strange at all. He certainly is a champion of Liszt and while probably best known for his Beethoven (my personal favorite), he did venture outside of his comfort zone and became closely associated with the Schoenberg Concerto. Believe it, or not, his first recording was of the Prokofiev 5th concerto. He's one of my idols and I'm extremely disappointed that I was never able to hear him live.


I don't know if it is on YouTube still, but I very much enjoyed his filmed & self commentated journey through Liszt's Années de Pelerinnage.


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1446682 - 05/30/10 03:52 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: Horowitzian]  
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Originally Posted by Horowitzian
Originally Posted by stores
I don't find his repertoire strange at all. He certainly is a champion of Liszt and while probably best known for his Beethoven (my personal favorite), he did venture outside of his comfort zone and became closely associated with the Schoenberg Concerto. Believe it, or not, his first recording was of the Prokofiev 5th concerto. He's one of my idols and I'm extremely disappointed that I was never able to hear him live.


I don't know if it is on YouTube still, but I very much enjoyed his filmed & self commentated journey through Liszt's Années de Pelerinnage.


I have the DVD and it's excellent.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

#1446684 - 05/30/10 03:55 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: stores]  
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Might have to add that to my next Amazon order. smile


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1446693 - 05/30/10 04:19 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: Horowitzian]  
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Brendel used to have a pretty wide repertoire but in recent decades he concentrated almost exclusively on Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert and Mozart (whose music, he said, was the hardest of all to play). All performed with great insight.

#1446702 - 05/30/10 04:27 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: John_B]  
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and he was so right in just staying where he was most comfortable, like Edwin Fischer, Arthur Schnabel, Wilhelm Kempff and the likes, he'll be regarded as one of those one day.


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
#1446839 - 05/30/10 07:33 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: stores]  
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Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by Horowitzian
Originally Posted by stores
I don't find his repertoire strange at all. He certainly is a champion of Liszt and while probably best known for his Beethoven (my personal favorite), he did venture outside of his comfort zone and became closely associated with the Schoenberg Concerto. Believe it, or not, his first recording was of the Prokofiev 5th concerto. He's one of my idols and I'm extremely disappointed that I was never able to hear him live.


I don't know if it is on YouTube still, but I very much enjoyed his filmed & self commentated journey through Liszt's Années de Pelerinnage.


I have the DVD and it's excellent.


I also enjoy the DVD as well. Highly recommended. The only downside is that his English is hard to understand; just wish that the DVD comes with English subtitle.

#1446948 - 05/30/10 10:04 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: ABC Vermonter]  
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He is not known for his Bach interpretations, and in fact- I think- he has not recorded much Bach, as suggested by PLUS. However I find myself often listening to his Italian Concerto and Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, I find his playing unusually beautiful and joyous.
I also never saw him live and tried, unsuccessfully, to make it to one of his lectures at Juilliard last year (one was about Schubert and the other about interpretation I believe).


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