Brilliant Classics, CD, MOZART, Robert Schumann, Arnold Schoenberg, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Frédéric Chopin
The complete Vox, Turnabout and Vanguard solo recordings Alfred Brendel retires this year from public performance. He will give his last recital in December at Vienna's Musikverein, in the city where he came to prominence over half a century ago. The recordings he made then for young American labels established in the wake of the Second World War, harnessing young talent in classic repertoire, have stood the test of time. They put down a marker for the music that Brendel would come almost to 'own' in the eyes of the piano-music-loving public: the Beethoven concertos and sonatas, Mozart concertos, Schubert, Liszt and Schoenberg.
He would later bring deepening insights to the core of the Austro-German repertoire that was his mainstay, but these early recordings are of far more than merely historical value: they are the first, impetuous explorations of a true keyboard lion. Thus there is also music we don't associate with Brendel, and to which he chose not to return, especially from Russia: Balakirev, Mussorgsky, Prokofiev and Stravinsky. In sum, and at a specially reduced price, this is essential listening for anyone interested in piano music and in the career of one of the greatest living pianists.
- Many of these performances have scarcely been available on CD: this is the first time they have been gathered together as a set
- Extensive booklet notes by pianophile Ates Orga, including a conversation piece with Brendel