Alfred Brendel’s Last Master Class
It was certainly an honor, if a nerve-wracking one, for the five chosen students. Brendel is a towering figure.
He is unusually tall for a pianist, with a high brow and a loping stride. His style is donnish—tweed jacket, rumpled trousers, shock of gray hair—but his aura is leonine.
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He commands the stage even when he is merely standing on it. Their teacher was largely self-taught.
Brendel was born in in Moravia and raised in Zagreb. After the Second World War, he attended the conservatory in Graz, Austria, but he ended his formal studies at sixteen.
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Brendel, who lives in London, will be eighty-one in January. On the second run-through, Brendel stopped them after a few bars. And here he slowly, exquisitely mimed the act of untangling a thread or, perhaps, freeing an arrow embedded in flesh. Sitting at the other piano, Brendel demonstrated the phrasing, as Sun bowed his head.
He concluded with a favorite parable. In this unique collection - a 5 DVD box at a very attractive price - he plays all of Schubert's major works for keyboard and introduces each piece, throwing light on its compositional substance and at the same time revealing his own highly personal relationship with these masterpieces of Romantic music.
Each volume consists of a minutes introduction by the artist and a complete performance. It is a timeless and infinitely fascinating document by a pianist, who has been on the international concert scene for decades without losing his magnetism for audiences and critics worldwide.
Almost ten hours of pure Schubert and Brendel, the DVD provides sheer bliss for aficionados of either and for all who want to become familiar with this eminent part of the piano repertoire. Back to Catalogue Brendel plays and introduces Schubert.
Alfred Brendel piano. Facts DVD Item number.
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