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#400308 - 11/22/07 10:05 PM Brendel to retire soon...
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
"NEW YORK (AP) — Alfred Brendel, the pianist who during his six decades of performances has mastered the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, will retire from the concert stage next year.

The Austrian native, who turns 77 in January, will give his last concert on Dec. 18, 2008, in Vienna.

Brendel, who is also a poet, will continue to appear in public to lecture on music and to give poetry readings, his New York publicist, Josephine Hemsing, said this week.

"He is playing at the peak of his form. He's in perfect health and he would like to go out at the top of his playing form," she said, confirming a report in the Chicago Tribune.

She said Brendel wasn't available for comment because he was touring in Europe.

Brendel's final North American engagements will be in February and March, with performances in New York, Boston, Montreal, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Chicago and Pittsburgh. He doesn't consider it a farewell tour, however.

"He dislikes the idea of farewell tours and concerts and prefers just to stop," Hemsing said.

His final concert will be with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, a few weeks before he turns 78. He will perform Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 9, known as the "Jeunehomme" ("Young Man"). "

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hJxFms7CRelYIznbFKiyPrJBFhHwD8T28OUO0

Brendel was one of my top ten favorite pianists. I will probably never get amazing pleasure of hearing him live as he is retiring next year. Has anyone ever heard him in concert? I heard from someone that he almost never preforms from memory?

Matt

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#400309 - 11/22/07 10:36 PM Re: Brendel to retire soon...
DameMyra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1983
Loc: South Jersey
I had the pleasure to hear him last year in Philadelphia performing Mozart's piano concerto #27 with Simon Rattle conducting. I had always wanted to hear him live and I had a feeling that it might be my last chance to do so. Seems like I was right. The concert was extraordinary.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher
MTNA/NJMTA/SJMTA

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#400310 - 11/22/07 11:21 PM Re: Brendel to retire soon...
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3916
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
He played one of the two nearly perfect recitals I've heard. Mostly Schubert including Wanderer Fantasie. This was over 30 years ago.
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#400311 - 11/23/07 12:22 AM Re: Brendel to retire soon...
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8927
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
My mother -who seems to have an excellent ear for this stuff- years ago took me to hear John Scott at St. Paul's Cathedral, Die Frau ohne Schatten at Covent Garden and finally Alfred Brendel.

He played an all Schubert program. Can't recall the whole recital, but I remember that he closed with the Schubert A minor sonata, D 784.

I was working on that at the time; I couldn't believe what he did with it. Mothers do dry our tears.

The thought of Brendel retiring is almost too intense to contemplate.
_________________________
Jason

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#400312 - 11/23/07 01:24 AM Re: Brendel to retire soon...
Ferdinand Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 943
Loc: California
 Quote:
originally posted by Debussy20
I heard from someone that he almost never preforms from memory?
I have heard Brendel in recital twice. He did not use a score on either occasion, to my recollection.
A few years back he gave a recital in San Francisco, playing Beethoven op. 10 #2 and op. 106.
Much longer ago when I was a student he played at San Jose Sate University. I think op. 101 was on the program. I remember most vividly sneaking backstage a few hours before the recital to hear and see him trying out the piano. He seemed utterly absorbed in and dedicated to the task of music-making.

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#400313 - 11/23/07 06:31 AM Re: Brendel to retire soon...
Numerian Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 1075
I've heard him many times in recent years and I don't ever recall his using a score. Maybe he does this for pieces outside of his main repertoire of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert. There is no doubt he is now in top form physically, mentally and emotionally during his recitals, and I think that has to do with setting limits on his repertoire. For example, because he cannot lift his arms about his head beyond a certain point, he has said that he can no longer play the Hammerklavier. Quite a shame, because he also said on many occasions he played the entire sonata note perfect and with tremendous passion.

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#400314 - 11/23/07 06:52 AM Re: Brendel to retire soon...
cruiser Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1172
Loc: Cornwall, England
I'm going to see Alfred Brendel in Hamburg next year. The occasion will be all the more significant for me as it appears this will be my first and only opportunity to hear him play.

I find Brendel to be a fascinating character especially since, apart from attending a couple of master classes, he is largely self taught... incredible!

When he plays, it appears to me that he is overcome by a deep emotional involvement with the music. I have his 5 DVD set of Schubert's later works and his facial expressions reflect, it seems to me, an immersion in and a love of the music which is almost too intense for him to bear.

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#400315 - 11/23/07 08:36 AM Re: Brendel to retire soon...
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Debussy20:
"He is playing at the peak of his form. He's in perfect health and he would like to go out at the top of his playing form," she said, confirming a report in the Chicago Tribune.[/b]
I doubt that, unfortunately, based n the reports I heard from his last recital in NY. He may be doing the right thing now by bowing out.

Certainly one of my favorite pianists, though.

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#400316 - 11/23/07 09:24 AM Re: Brendel to retire soon...
Numerian Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 1075
He seemed perfectly fine on that same tour in other cities. Could have been a cold or something similar when he was in NY. At his age, though, he is probably no longer willing to risk public recitals when his health could betray him at any time.

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#400317 - 11/23/07 09:26 AM Re: Brendel to retire soon...
Donna R. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 794
Matt, if you're still making your list for Santa I highly recommend the DVD set that Cruiser mentions. It's remastered from a series of programs made for German TV in the 70's. The quality is excellent. He has the score in front of him while he's introducing the pieces, but he plays them all from memory. The set covers the later sonatas, the impromptus, Moments Musicaux and the three pieces.

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#400318 - 11/23/07 09:35 AM Re: Brendel to retire soon...
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
thanks Donna! I will deffinatly check that out and perhaps ask Santa. I'll also be asking for the Barenboim Beethoven Sonatas on DVD.

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#400319 - 11/23/07 09:39 AM Re: Brendel to retire soon...
Donna R. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 794
 Quote:
Originally posted by Debussy20:
I'll also be asking for the Barenboim Beethoven Sonatas on DVD. [/b]
I asked for that too! Did you see Barenboim play Brahms' 1st concerto on PBS last night?

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#400320 - 11/23/07 10:17 AM Re: Brendel to retire soon...
T.S.R. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/08/06
Posts: 231
Loc: Chicago, IL
I saw that. It was spectacular!

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#400321 - 11/23/07 11:21 AM Re: Brendel to retire soon...
Silent Thoughts Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/05
Posts: 314
Looks like I'll be in Vienna in December of 2008.

Thanks for the info!

- Silence

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#400322 - 11/23/07 11:26 AM Re: Brendel to retire soon...
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
This will be a loss indeed. Brendel is one of my favorite artists.

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#400323 - 11/23/07 12:02 PM Re: Brendel to retire soon...
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1711
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
Damn. I wonder if he will continue to do recordings just like Ashkenazy's retirement from live concerts? I've never heard him live, but I obtained his first Philips Beethoven sonata cycle just when I was starting to take music seriously, and I could still remember the wonder I felt as I listened to it. Several sonatas from this cycle still stand with the best (his Waldstein and Tempest, the late sonatas, Op. 27 #1, others). And it seems like his pianistic temperament (Austrio-German centric, seriousness, scholarship) rubbed off on me too.
Anyways, I do hope he will continue to record. Some of his recent Mozart recordings are quite wonderful!
_________________________
Die Krebs gehn zurcke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.

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#400324 - 11/23/07 11:05 PM Re: Brendel to retire soon...
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
Whether he continues to record might not be his choice to make. Studio recordings are expensive to make. All the recent Mozart recordings are live recordings.

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#400325 - 11/25/07 07:03 PM Re: Brendel to retire soon...
triton Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/25/07
Posts: 2
Loc: montreal
I saw him in Montreal years ago. He played a few late Liszt pieces and Brahms Handel Variations. It was for a TV program but recorded as a live concert. The Brahms was great although he was not in top shape that night. In fact he was absolutely furious at the producer ( i've heard about that later ) .

He's a great pianist.

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#400326 - 11/26/07 06:36 AM Re: Brendel to retire soon...
F minor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/24/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Canada
Brendel is retiring? Perhaps it is for the best, although we all know how long Horowitz and Rubinstein kept playing!

Alfred Brendel is undoubtedly in the top rosters of my preferred pianists. Obviously there can be no one greatest pianist, but his emotional attachment always struck me as incredibly unique. His essays and poetry are all remarkably insightful and humorous. I only recently heard of him (this July), and I was able to purchase his Schubert sonatas D. 845-961, the Impromptus, Moment Musiceaux, and the Wanderer Fantasy.

I regret that I was too young, and now too far away, to see him. This man is simply a Renaissance Man of the 20th Century, and now the 21st.
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