On the musical side… this is pure Bredel.
Alfred Brendel Alfred Brendel's place among the greatest musicians of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries is assured. Renowned for his masterly interpretations of the works of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Liszt, he is one of the indisputable authorities in musical life today and one of the very few living pianists whose name alone guarantees a sell-out anywhere in the world he chooses to play.
If you need an introduction to Mozart, this starting point remains unmatched. While not my first Mozart, this collection was the first CD i owned. The purchase has never been regretted. Indeed, it maintains a pride of place in my shelves.
Brendel's performance throughout this series is impeccable. He delves into Mozart's music as if he'd been sitting in a salon with Mozart reviewing the composition. There is a strong sense of time and place in all the renditions of the master's expressive genius. Brendel has avoided the trap of "updating" the performance to some 20th Century idea of how they should be rendered. Brendel brings a sense of the delicacy to his performances without losing an iota of the power behind Mozart's compositions. Brendel seems to impart Mozart's evolving maturity as he recaptures the fourteen year duration over which these pieces were composed. Mozart would hear his music with pride were he here to enjoy Brendel's recreations.
Even though Vladimir Ashkenazy is most often celebrated for his brilliantly virtuosic interpretations of Romantic repertoire, his skills in playing works of the Classical era are just as worthy, as proved by this 10-disc set from London of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's piano concertos. These performances span a period from 1966 to 1988, capturing a youthful and vigorous Ashkenazy playing and conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra from the keyboard, in approved Mozartian fashion. All of the keyboard concertos are here, including the official 27 concertos for piano and orchestra, the Concerto for two pianos in E flat major, K. 365, the Concerto for three pianos in F major, K. 242, as well as the two Rondos K. 382 and K. 386. Ashkenazy's elegant playing has been highly praised by critics and placed on a level with his esteemed contemporaries Murray Perahia, Daniel Barenboim, and Alfred Brendel, all past masters of Mozart's primary medium of expression.
This is a live performance from the Bavarian State Opera of Mozart's last great singspiel, DIE ZAUBERFLOTE (THE MAGIC FLUTE) conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch. It is my first video of this opera, dating from 1990, and after 15 years of off/on viewing/listening, I am still most impressed with Sawallisch, the Bavarian State Opera Orchestra, singers Araiza, Popp, Brendel, Gruberova, Moll, etc. The sound, even for VHS, is very good, and I've had much pleasure from this video… By Alan Majeska
An acclaimed profile of Alfred Brendel, one of the world's finest pianists, being repeated now to mark the end of his performing career.
This collection is an absolute steal. Three of the concerto recordings are unsurpassed. The Haskil Chopin is legendary, Richter's Liszt is colossal and Janis's Rachmaninoff is absolutely formidable. Brendel's recordings of Mozart and Beethoven are on a lesser level of achievement, but never less than good.