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Having never been a fan of Brendel, this recording did not come as a blow to – what many people describe as – my blasphemy. His luxuriantly smooth and beautifully even tone, which robs Beethoven’s music of all its interesting phrasings and eccentricities, left me wondering why I purchased it in the first place. Perhaps somehow, somewhere, like a supernova in the south-eastern corner of the universe triggers a cosmic flash, I’d foolishly hoped Alfred might have had an earthquaking and illuminating epiphany regarding the true meaning of Beethoven, who, incidentally, always wanted to meet Goethe. When the two great men finally did meet in July 1812, Goethe’s stricture of Beethoven was that he had an “utterly untamed personality”, a ‘personality’ Brendel misses like a blind man trying to shoot the head off a pin at 200 paces. The playing is of course very fine; however, should you like your Beethoven sounding like Chopin, this is the download for you. Personally, I’m eagerly hanging out for some HDTT Schnabel/Beethoven – or for that matter, ANYTHING Schnabel! Gil Sullivan
Title: Alfred Brendel plays piano works by Beethoven
Artist(s): Alfred Brendel, Piano
Recording Info: Recorded by Vox Turnabout July 1964
1. Rondo in G major, Op. 51, No. 2 9:52
2. Allegretto, WoO 53 3:56
3. 6 Ecossaise in E flat major, Woo 83 2:02
4. Fur Elise WoO 59 2:56
5. Polonaise in C Major op 89 5:39
6. 32 Variations in C minor, WoO 80 11:10
Total Time: 35:35