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Re: Alfred Brendel

> I heard from a fellow Gould fan who told me that in an interview with Alfred
> Brendel for a radio broadcast in which he stated that Gould should not be
> considered a serious musician, because of his unorthodox Mozart, and the lack
> of Schubert recordings.

Well, they "exchanged" ridiculous phrases then - one said something ridiculous
about Mozart and the other was offended and responded accordingly :))

> Lastly, Brendel once stated that Bach's music is not suitable for the piano,
> but since changed his beliefs recently. He recorded one Bach album, which was
> not one of his best. His recording of the Italian Concerto seems very
> reminscient of Gould's.

I must say I think Brendel plays "Romantic Bach" pretty well to my taste (I
didn't find anything Gouldian in his playing - he's still an antipode of GG to
me). His dynamics changes may seem excessive to some but the build-up from the
pianissimo to a great forte (or whatever the loudness is called:) in his BWV922
appealed to me greatly. The harpsichord versions of the same work (I heard
Michele Barchi's) seems so flat (horizontal!) afterwards...

I also think his modest style of playing suits the Choralebearbeitungs ("Ich ruf
zu dir...", "Nun komm der Heiden..."). He turns the chromatic fantasy and fugue
in very powerfully sounding works as if written specially for the concert grand
(especially the fugue). It's great he is very careful even in the loudest
passages and avoids banging of the keys at all costs (and Gould sometimes do
this, at least IMHO).

Right now I only remember the way he played the 1st part of the Italian concert
(I lent the CD). It was neat yet not enough exuberant to me. Gould plays it this
and I like it and Brendel is a bit shy and courteous again. I wouldn't say,
though, that Brendel's sense of rhythm and cohesiveness is much worse than
Gould. The Allegro sounded very well controlled to me.

All in all, I don't think Brendel played Bach worse than Gould played Mozart. I
would like to hear Brendel play more of Bach's "potentially Romantic" pieces,
like toccatas and many of the sarabandes. But I doubt he will venture into the
field where he doesn't feel very comfortable again...

Juozas Rimas Jr (not the one playing)
http://www.mp3.com/juozasrimas (oboe, piano, strings)