Notes and Editorial Reviews
Phantasie in c.
Alfred Brendel (pn)
ALTO 1046 (58:04)
This is a sonic redo of two 1966 ADD recordings that Brendel did for the Vanguard company, the only two Schumann pieces he recorded for them. (Brilliant Classics has released all of the Brendel Vox, Turnabout, and Vanguard recordings in a 35-disc set.) Both pieces are among the best readings you will find, and the cleaned-up sound has remarkable depth and richness. Brendel was not noted for his
advocacy of Schumann in any special way; he did re-record the
for Philips (again, one of the best) along with
, and some Lieder and wind recordings as well. All of his efforts for the composer are never less than stellar. These readings are Germanic to the core and vastly symphonic in scope. Nevertheless, anything this pianist sets his mind to is bound to receive a full and fair treatment, and these lustrous readings make one wish that Schumann had been more prominent on his musical radar. Hearing them again after a long period of time makes me realize that they could easily become favorites.
I don’t know if I can recommend these early readings over the later ones on Philips, but I can say this: the recorded sound is nearly their equal (there is some small congestion in places, but not a lot, and the piano sound is perhaps not quite as natural as in the later recordings), the performances as good, and this thing is selling for around eight bucks on arkivmusic.com. Wait a minute—maybe I can! All things considered, this disc is a real steal.
FANFARE: Steven E. Ritter
Works on This Recording
Symphonic Etudes for Piano, Op. 13 by Robert Schumann
Alfred Brendel (Piano)
Written: 1837/1852; Germany
Notes: Composition written: Germany (1837).
Composition revised: Germany (1852).
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