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#1446639 - 05/30/10 02:30 PM Brendel's Strange Repertoire
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19099
Loc: New York City
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?


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]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6035
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
I have a recording of Brendel playing Schumann's Fantasiestucke, and another set of fantasy pieces by Schumann that escape me right now...

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#1446642 - 05/30/10 02:43 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: pianoloverus]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: 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]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6035
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
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]
Ridicolosamente Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 1448
Loc: Miami, Florida, USA
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
_________________________
Currently working on:
-Dane Rudhyar's Stars from Pentagrams No 3

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#1446646 - 05/30/10 02:52 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: Orange Soda King]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2594
Loc: Netherlands
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..
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couch de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Chopin op.28/20/31/39/54

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#1446647 - 05/30/10 02:54 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: dolce sfogato]
Mattardo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 1306
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.

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#1446649 - 05/30/10 02:56 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: dolce sfogato]
Damon Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 5916
Loc: St. Louis area
Here is his strangest.
_________________________
Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

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#1446650 - 05/30/10 02:57 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: dolce sfogato]
pianoloverus Online   content
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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.

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#1446657 - 05/30/10 03:06 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: pianoloverus]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2594
Loc: Netherlands
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 couch de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Chopin op.28/20/31/39/54

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#1446660 - 05/30/10 03:06 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: Ridicolosamente]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19099
Loc: New York City
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.

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#1446672 - 05/30/10 03:36 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: Mattardo]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: 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."

♪ ≠ $


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#1446673 - 05/30/10 03:38 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: pianoloverus]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: 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."

♪ ≠ $


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#1446676 - 05/30/10 03:45 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: stores]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
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.

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#1446682 - 05/30/10 03:52 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: Horowitzian]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
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."

♪ ≠ $


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#1446684 - 05/30/10 03:55 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: stores]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Might have to add that to my next Amazon order. smile
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1446693 - 05/30/10 04:19 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: Horowitzian]
John_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/10
Posts: 621
Loc: Bristol, UK
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.

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#1446702 - 05/30/10 04:27 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: John_B]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2594
Loc: Netherlands
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 couch de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Chopin op.28/20/31/39/54

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#1446839 - 05/30/10 07:33 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: stores]
ABC Vermonter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/09
Posts: 219
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.

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#1446948 - 05/30/10 10:04 PM Re: Brendel's Strange Repertoire [Re: ABC Vermonter]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3885
Loc: New York
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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