Alfred Brendel in recital 1962

Alfred Brendel - One of the very few living pianists whose name alone guaranteed a sell-out anywhere in the world.

Alfred Brendel – Paris Radio Recital – 1962 – Past Daily Mid-Week Concert

Alfred Brendel in recital 1962
Alfred Brendel – One of the very few living pianists whose name alone guaranteed a sell-out anywhere in the world.

Alfred Brendel – In Recital for Paris Radio – November 19, 1962 – ORTF, Paris –

Over to Paris again this week for a historic recital featuring Alfred Brendel in this Broadcast Studio performance from November 19, 1962.

Featured are: Beethoven: Piano Sonata Number 13 – Andante in F Major – woo 57 and Franz Liszt: Unstern!, Bagatelle sons tonalité, La Lugubre Gondole and Csárdás Macabre.

Alfred Brendel gave his first public recital in Graz age 17, boldly entitled ‘The Fugue in Piano Literature’ with works by Bach, Brahms and Liszt. “It consisted,” he recalls, “only of piano works with fugues and of four encores which also contained fugues. “
One of these pieces was a sonata of my own with a double fugue, of course. At that time I composed polyphonic pieces with great pleasure, and a habit to listen to all voices implied in a composition has stayed with me.”*

As well as his musical activities, Brendel also pursued his other interests, including painting, composing and literature, of which literature became his second professional occupation. At the time of his first recital there was a one-man exhibition of his water-colours in a Graz gallery. But in 1949 he won fourth prize in the prestigious Busoni Competition in Bolzano, Italy. It was enough to launch his career as a performing musician.

He then toured throughout Europe and Latin America, slowly, unspectacularly building his career, and participating in a few masterclasses of Paul Baumgartner, Eduard Steuermann (a pupil of Busoni and Schoenberg, and who gave many first performances of the latter’s work) and, most importantly, the great Swiss pianist Edwin Fischer. He, Alfred Cortot and Wilhelm Kempff can be said to have had most influence on Brendel’s playing. However, Brendel maintains that he has profited most from listening to singers and conductors. Later, one of his Lied partners was Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

After his final concert with the Vienna Philharmonic in December 2008, which has been preserved as a Decca recording, he has remained active lecturing, writing, giving readings of his poetry, and teaching master classes. In America, the venues of his lectures have included Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Berkeley, McGill and New York University, in Europe Oxford and Camebridge as well as various music festivals.

Enjoy the concert.

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