'If I belong to a tradition it is a tradition that makes the masterpiece tell the performer what he should do and not the performer telling the piece what it should be like, or the composer what he ought to have composed.' 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.
Brendel's discography is now among the most extensive of any pianist, reflecting a repertoire of solo and orchestral works that ranges from Bach and Haydn to Weber to Schumann, Liszt, Brahms, Mussorgsky and Schoenberg.
He is one of the few pianists to have recorded all of the Mozart piano concertos (with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields). As well as playing a prominent role in championing Schubert's Piano Sonatas, he has recorded two complete cycles of his mature piano works, 1822-28, as well as establishing Schoenberg's Piano Concerto in the concert repertoire. During the 1990s, Brendel releases included Brahms' Second Piano Concerto (with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic), sonatas by Haydn, Mozart solo recitals, as well as a new recording of Liszt's B minor Sonata, Funerailles and four late pieces. To celebrate his 65th birthday in 1996, Philips released a 25-disc boxed set entitled The Art of Alfred Brendel.
In the first years of this century, he recorded 8 of Mozart's concertos with Sir Charles Mackerras, cooperated with Matthias Goerne in two Schubert discs, and played all of Beetohoven's works for piano and cello with his son Adrian. Recently, in a double CD series, he has selected some of this own favourites on record including a number of live performaces from the BBC; this series is called ‘Artist's Choice'.
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