Liszt: Sonata In B Minor, Etc / Brendel
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Notes and Editorial Reviews
Focusing on the score rather than the show, Alfred Brendel communicates and organizes the Liszt Sonata's structural threads and contrapuntal interest with forthright intensity, concentration, and integrity. That said, we still must deal with the pianist's bleak, bloodless tone in loud passages, and a lack of the kind of effortless sweep and long, singing line in bravura passages we hear from Argerich, Arrau, Bolet, and Richter. Still, this 1991 recording gains a soupçon of presence and color via Philips' "original masters" refurbishing.
Heard alongside Brendel's more distantly miked 1981 Philips Liszt Sonata, the remake essentially preserves a similar interpretive game plan, but with differing details. Just a
few examples: the stringendo chord leaps and broken octaves (track 2, 8:12) and the fughetta come off less urgent and incisive than before, yet transitional passages are more flexible, fluid, and harmonically pointed; in the Funérailles Brendel takes trouble over the alternating left-hand booming bass notes and chords in order to rub the grim funeral march in your face, and rightly so; also notice how the central episode's fully voiced right-hand chords and galloping left-hand octaves interact in dialogue, in contrast to all those pianists who barnstorm their way through the music. Brendel also captures the late works' foreboding qualities, save for a rather cut-and-dried, poker-faced En rêve. The booklet includes Brendel's own heartfelt, insightful annotations.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
R. W. - Venezia, S 201 by Franz Liszt
Alfred Brendel (Piano)
Written: 1883; Rome, Italy
10 Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, S.173: No. 7 Funérailles
Piano Sonata in B minor, S.178: Lento assai - Allegro energico
Piano Sonata in B minor, S.178: Andante sostenuto
Piano Sonata in B minor, S.178: Allegro energico - Andante sostenuto - Lento assai
5 Kleine Klavierstücke, S.192: No.3 in F sharp, Andantino
Richard-Wagner - Venezia, S.201
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Brendel is the master December 31, 2013
By Jan Arnold (CHICAGO, IL) See All My Reviews
"This recording by Alfred Brendel of the Liszt Sonata and some other works shows us once again, as do his recordings of Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert, that Alfred Brendel is the greatest interpreter of these composers we have ever had. Whenever I play a Brendel recording of these masters, it always makes me ask why I even bother to play my many other recordings of the same works. He lives and breathes the essence of these pieces, making them emanate, through the air, their messages without a misstep or flaw in their forward thrust and power. For this repertoir, Brendel is peerless. A Global treasure."