The Farewell Concerts

The Farewell Concerts

by Alfred BrendelAlfred Brendel


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For his last pair of concerts in a 60-year-long career, Austrian pianist Alfred Brendel went out with a superlatively chosen selection of some of his favorite works by some of his favorite composers, most of whom, unsurprisingly, were also Austrian. There are pairs of works by Mozart: the "Piano Concerto in E flat major, K. 271," and "Piano Sonata in F major, K. 533"; Beethoven: the "Piano Sonata in E flat major, Op. 27/1," and "Bagatelle in A major, Op. 33/4"; and Schubert: the "B flat major Sonata, D. 960," and "Impromptu in G flat major, D. 899/3"; as well as single works by Haydn: the "Variations in F minor, Hob. XVII:6"; and finally, inevitably, Bach: the choral prelude "Nun komm' der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659," in Busoni's arrangement. Each work had long been in Brendel's repertoire, and his familiarity, one might even say his sense of identity, with each is complete. Yet Brendel is anything but routine; indeed, he seems as filled with life as his interpretations are filled with new insights. In his career, Brendel went from super virtuoso to poet, and back again, but here his performances are much more on the poetic side, though no less technically accomplished. With rich colorations, flexible tempos, soulful phrasing, and apparently indefatigable energy, the older, wiser Brendel finds things in these scores that the younger, more fiery Brendel missed. There's sly wit in his Beethoven sonata, irrepressible humor in his Mozart concerto, loving tenderness in his Schubert sonata, and a peace that surpasses understanding in his Bach chorale prelude. With the kindly sympathy of Charles Mackerras and the Wiener Philharmoniker in the Mozart concerto and lushly detailed sound from Decca, this disc will surely thrill Brendel's fans.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/19/2010
Label: Decca
UPC: 0028947821168
catalogNumber: 001378902
Rank: 111238


  1. Nun komm der Heiden Heiland (II), chorale prelude for organ (Achtzehn Choräle No. 8), BWV 659 (BC K82)
  2. Impromptu for piano in G flat major, D. 899/3 (Op. 90/3)
  3. Bagatelle for piano in A major, Op. 33/4
  4. Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat major, D. 960
  5. Piano Sonata No. 13 in E flat major ("Quasi una fantasia"), Op. 27/1
  6. Piano Sonata in F major, K. 533/494
  7. Andante with variations for piano in F minor, H. 17/6
  8. Piano Concerto No. 9 in E flat major ("Jeunehomme," "Jenamy"), K. 271

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The Farewell Concerts 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brendel ends 60 years of performances with style. The Vienna Philharmonic support him with all the style & grace they can muster in the Mozart concerto. The solo works show he has lost nothing in technique & are performances of depth & nobility. The recording & documentation are excellent. If you don't own any Brendel this is as good a place as any to start. A fine farewell indeed.