Sunday, January 17, 2010

Brendel plays Beethoven

Of course, it's much more comfortable listening to Beethoven's sonata No 29 in five parts less than six, the more while sitting with a mug of coffee in one's chair and enjoying Scottish normality, but anyway:
Here's - especially to you, Andrew :) - the virtuosic Alfred Brendel.


  1. It was an Alfred Brendel recording that I was listening to as I wrote my post. Awesome stuff. Thanks.

  2. Ha, thus I was - so to speak - carrying Brendel to Scotland. :)
    Great man, this Mr. Brendel!

  3. :) I'm grateful to both of you for this relaxing, enjoyable time. The last two days were a bit tough...

  4. Well...I hope it's OK, for me, to jump in and listen.:))))))))

  5. Yes Sean, I sat in the front row of a concert hall watching and listening to him, many years ago... but Beethoven, well, what can I say. He was and is WAY BEYOND mere greatness. Listening to his complete piano sonatas, especially the latest and greatest ones, catalysed an epiphany-like transformation in me when I was 20 and had casually put a flatmate's set of them on as background music while I decided it was time to get serious about studying instead of being a bit of a "wild boy," which I was. Something subliminal happened inside me, over the next few days, as I read biochemistry and chemistry textbooks and listened to Beethoven, and I was quite literally transformed. Closest thing to a religious experience that I've ever had. Thankyou so much Ludwig. Feel free to transform me again, because I'm starting on something else big and new and long-term now too, and so am listening to you again. Oh... sorry Sean, I seem to have hijacked your blog for my ramblings, and to talk with Ludwig. I wonder if he'll reply :)

  6. Great in all respects Sean!


  7. Claudia,
    glad, you enjoyed and ... relaxed. :)

  8. Dear Mr. Scott,
    the barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry, 'Thus far and no farther.'
    Off with you! You're a happy fellow, for you'll give happiness and joy to many other people. There is nothing better or greater than that!

  9. Bertus,
    you are very welcome! Glad you enjoyed and let me/us know.

  10. :)Sean, You also carried Brendel to Toronto. I had not heard him before. I enjoyed his interpretation immensely. He lifts his fingers well, at the right time, and with the right amount of emotion.

    The Beethoven Sonatas I have are played by Vladimir Ashkenazy,(an excellent pianist) whom I also heard live a few times.

    At 17, I had to learn the First Movement of the "Waldstein-Aurora" Sonata (No 21). I was having great difficulties and I wasn't sure at all about Beethoven. My teacher sent me to a Beethoven Concert Serie. For three evenings in a row, I listened to Paul Loyonnet, a French pianist who, at the peak of his career, had taken 5 years off public performances to study Beethoven. He was magnificent.

    On the last evening, I went backstage to speak with him. I was allowed to knock at the door where he was recuperating. I explained my problems with the Sonata. He gave me a few pointers. Then, he wrote on my copy "Puisse luire une belle aurore pour vous." and his name. (May your life be a beautiful dawn.) And he said, looking right into my eyes, "C'est BEETHOVEN! Vous ne pouvez pas faillir. Look into his heart. Il en vaut la peine." (It's Beethoven. You must not fail. Look into his heart. He is worth it."

    I still have my copy with his signature. And I can still hear his voice. This wonderful man died, in 1988, at the age of 99. He never knew how much love he had put into my heart for Beethoven by sending me, way beyond the notes, into the composer's heart.

    Thank you, Sean, for your Beethoven's post, And also you, Andrew, for inspiring it.

  11. Claudia,
    those collegues who would sometimes preddict that 'no reader' would understand my satires, seem to be not entirely wrong.
    As Andrew (to my surprise) mentioned that it was a Brendel recording he had been listening to, I came to think of that I had been carrying coals to Newcastle, owls to Athens or rather 'Brendel to Scotland'. :)

    Thank you very much for sharing your encounter Paul Loyonnet. A lovely read.
    Now both Andrew and you mentioned one of your crucial experiences [is this a correct term?], I was trying to remember / think of such a moment in my life - is it possible there was none? :)

  12. :)Sean - Don't expect me to understand satires in English. I don't know what you really meant by "Brandel to Scotland."

    As for your (maybe) lack of "crucial experiences", could it be that you might not allow anyone (even a Beethoven) to influence deeply your independant spirit?

    Nothing wrong with that...This way, you never have to be grateful to anyone, but yourself, for anything positive which happens in your life.:)

    As for myself, I owe so much to so many (gone, or still here), that my heart is always full of a thousand Mercis. I like it this way.

    Merci for being in that list of people, Sean.:)

  13. Ah, Claudia,
    thankful I am to very many people.
    All I wanted to say is that I can't think of a -bang-moment. I am pretty sure, though, there were some. :)
    Perhaps(!), rather than by a big bang the mosaic of my character was formed by many tiny tesserae.
    Did I say 'was formed'? Is formed.
    The mosaic will - hopefully (?) - not be completed before my last breath. :)