Live recordings from Austrian Radio broadcasts (ORF) released for the very first time by one of the greatest musicians of all time.
The Schumann Piano Concerto requires virtually everything a pianist should have to offer: poetry, virtuosity, poised restraint – Brendel passes the test on all accounts with his passionate, insightful and refreshing interpretation.
On this Schumann Piano Concerto performance, taken from Brendel’s 70th Birthday residency in 2001, with the inestimable partners in Sir Simon Rattle and the Wiener Philharmoniker, Alfred Brendel writes that “listening to this live recording I felt that, for once, I heard what I wanted to hear”.
Brahms “Handel” Variations are what many consider to be the most imposing piece of its kind composed in the four decades that separate it from Beethoven’s “Diabelli” Variations.
A work with a wealth of different characters, colour and masterful disposition. The Fugue in particular is something to marvel at with its contrapuntal and pianistic power. Even Wagner had to concede that the result was impressive, “One sees what can still be done with the old forms when someone comes along who knows how to handle them”.
Brendel has never recorded the Brahms “Handel” Variations in the studio which makes this his first commercially available recording of the work
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 1. Allegro affettuoso 2. Intermezzo (Andantino grazioso) 3. Allegro vivace
Wiener Philharmoniker Sir Simon Rattle Alfred Brendel (piano)
Brahms: Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24 4. Aria 5. Variation I 6. Variation II