ALFRED BRENDEL - CELEBRATING HIS 85TH BIRTHDAY
COMPLETE PHILIPS RECORDINGS



On 8th January, Decca will release Alfred Brendel’s complete Philips legacy for the first time, celebrating the artist’s remarkable achievements in the year of his 85th birthday. Developed in close collaboration with Alfred Brendel himself, this prodigious 114CD edition includes studio albums, live recordings and radio broadcasts. The set is accompanied by a 200-page book featuring a note by Brendel’s personal choice of writer, Misha Donat, an article by the pianist himself and an extensive tracklisting indicating his favourite recordings.

Alfred Brendel’s place among the greatest musicians of the 20th and 21st centuries is assured. Renowned for his masterly interpretations of the works of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Schumann and Liszt, he is one of the indisputable authorities in musical life today. A talented writer and poet, Brendel’s musical genius is particularly influenced by his extra-musical interests. Writing is a constant source of inspiration and expression for Brendel, and he lists “laughing” as one of his favourite occupations – something that is reflected in his playing, which shows a rare talent for highlighting unexpected elements of humour, particularly in Haydn and Beethoven.

Brendel had a somewhat unconventional musical background – something which he regards as an advantage. Born to parents who were not musicians, Brendel has had very little formal training and is largely self-taught. Instead, Brendel learnt by recording the piece he was studying, listening to himself and reacting to it. This approach has resulted in a unique interpretative insight. Countless awards and honours include Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE; 1989), Beethoven-Ring of the Vienna Music University (2001) and Praemium Imperiale (2008).

Paul Moseley, Managing Director Decca Classics, said:

“Alfred Brendel is one of the very select pianists of our time who can truly be called iconic. In presenting for the first time his entire recorded legacy for the Philips Classics label we honour the achievements of this unique man of music. Happy 85th birthday Maestro! “ 

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

•   Complete Mozart, Bach and Haydn recordings including a Mozart concerto cycle with Neville Marriner and Academy of St Martin in the Fields

•   Complete Beethoven recordings, including 3 concerto cycles (WP/Rattle, CSO/Levine, LPO/Haitink), 2 Piano Sonatas Cycles (1970-77 and 1992-96)

•   The solo and concerto recordings of the Romantics includes 2 cycles of Late Piano works by Schubert. Other composers include Liszt, Mussorgsky, Berg, Busoni and Schoenberg

•   Live, Chamber and Lieder recordings – radio performances of Beethoven, Busoni, Mendelssohn and Chopin; Schubert and Schumann lieder with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Matthias Goerne,

•      Complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas with his son Adrian Brendel

•      One disc of Live Recitals in Salzburg

•      Farewell Concerts from 2008

•      Also includes recordings made for Decca, Deutsche Grammophon and EMI

 

THE ACCOMPANYING 200-PAGE BOOK INCLUDES:

•      Foreword by Costa Pilavachi, former President, Philips Classics

•      Extensive tracklists indicating some of Alfred Brendel's favourite recordings (Artist’s Choice)

•      Timeline — Key Events

•      “Voyage of Discovery” – a note by Brendel’s personal choice of writer, Misha Donat

•      “A Lifetime of Recording” – an article by Alfred Brendel, first published in Gramophone in August 2013

•      Alfred Brendel: Selected Bibliography

•      Index of works by composer

•      Index of works by recording date


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