One of Edwin Fischer's Best Pupils
BLee | HK | 07/02/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I like Brendel's Haydn , and Haydn certainly fits his style best. His phrasings are perfect, more perfect than Callas. And his sound is nearly as luminous and as assuring as his teacher Edwin Fischer. There is even a sense of drama which reminds us of Furtwangler. It's rewardinging if we compare his Haydn with Pletnev's. Few musicians (with perhaps the exception of Horszowski) could really boast a spontaneity up to Mozart's expectations, particularly the flow of music. Schnabel once said, "Mozart is so easy for children and yet so difficult for artists." Nonetheless, Brendel's Mozart are excellent model for piano students: up to every note, every nuance, every phrase. (Another excellent model could be found from Pollini.) I would also invite readers to go back to Brendel's teacher Edwin Fischer for an even better version, but that is much dicounted by poorer recording and they are of course CDs only.
I don't exactly enjoy his Schubert's Impromptu: there is a sense of drama but sometimes at the expense of lyricism. But that is only a very short piece. Photography is excellent too, with 2/3 of the time shot from a elvated view showing both hands at the same time. Viewers, however, may not enjoy to see the pianist playing with 6 of his fingertips bound with adhesive tapes. To some this is an awful sight, however beautiful the music may be! On the whole, this is one of the best recorded piano DVDs. You can almost feel the resonant sound of a Steinway & Sons right in front of you as played by one of the best living masters of the piano."
BBC Gets It Right
FW | Pasadena, CA USA | 06/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For the past few months I have obsessively picked up every DVD related to classical pianists or classical piano music I can find. "Horowitz in Moscow" is one of my favorites, so are Yundi Li's performance in Warsaw and Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations. After viewing "Alfred Brendel in Portrait", I ecstatically add it to the favorites list. I say this for two reasons. The first being Mr. Brendel himself. I found Mr. Brendel to be delightfully humble and good natured. I admire his musicianship, poetic gifts, humor, and humanity. The second reason I love this set is the amount of ... stuff, for lack of a better word, one gets; and the professsionalism and care with which this stuff is put together. I will spare you the details of what is inclued, as that is discribed elsewhere. Rest assured, you get plenty of quality stuff for your money. Thanks, BBC, for getting it right."
Great Alfred Brendel DVD
Amy | 08/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Alfred Brendel, an artist described by many as the greatest living pianist, gives a once in a lifetime access into his very private life. This double DVD set includes a recital featuring Haydn's Piano Sonata in E flat major, Mozart's Piano Sonata in C minor, and Schubert's Impromptu No. 3 in G flat, D 899. The second DVD is a documentary film that looks back on his childhood and early influences. Alfred Brendel reveals his stature as an international performer, displays his admiration for the work of other artists and gives rare insights into his ideas and philosophy. Alfred Brendel also reads his own witty and self revelatory poetry. There is an inspiring conversation at the piano, in which the great conductor Simon Rattle and Alfred Brendel discuss and rehearse the fine details of Beethoven's Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 3. This is a wonderfully detailed picture of Alfred Brendel not just as a great pianist, but also as a human being.