Lectures: My musical life - Beethoven's last sonatas and his late style - Playing Mozart. Masterclass: Piano Trio No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 99, D 898
Alfred Brendel. Jan Bartoš - piano, Trio Incendio (Karolína Františová - piano, Filip Zaykov - violin, Vilém Petras - cello)
When, in December 2008, six decades into his illustrious career, Alfred Brendel bade farewell to an emotional Viennese audience, it was not a "full stop", as it may have appeared at that moment. Rather a "semicolon". With more time on his hands, the celebrated pianist went on to focus on other activities - writing (essays on music, poetry), giving lectures, leading masterclasses. In January 2021, Brendel will celebrate his 90th birthday, possessing profound knowledge and experience, as well as a great zest for learning new things. And also a sense of humour, which he has often turned against himself. Precious few pianists have influenced the perception and performance of music as much as Brendel has. He was the first to have recorded the complete Beethoven piano works, he succeeded in bringing Franz Schubert's music back to the concert stage, among other achievements. Of late, Brendel has often visited Prague to give lectures and masterclasses at the Rudolfinum, highlights of which are captured on the present DVD. Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert are the figures he, as a pianist, treasures most. The autobiographical lecture My Musical Life provides the viewer with a glimpse of the universe full of paradox that gave rise to the legend called Brendel - unveiling the sources of his inspiration, education and artistry, that which formed his vision of the world. The DVD affords the rare opportunity to meet the living legend.
A highly personal encounter with Alfred Brendel
“Cette conférence révèle une personnalité généreuse et sans forfanterie. Brendel donne une profonde impression de sagesse et d’une sereine volonté de partage qui se prolonge dans les deux conférences consacrées aux sonates et aux concertos de Mozart, puis aux dernières sonates de Beethoven, agrémentées d’écoutes de disques et de la participation de Jan Bartoš, l’initiateur des soirées, pour éclairer l’une ou l’autre idée. On ressent au fil de ces causeries le respect profond que Brendel développe pour les compositeurs et le message qu’il veut apporter en termes de beauté musicale… ce DVD sont sans doute moins grand public mais ils sont de belles leçons de pédagogie, révélatrices de la ferveur qui anime toujours et encore ce virtuose à la prestigieuse carrière.” Crescendo, March 2021