Today, we finished viewing and listening to “Alfred Brendel: In Portrait,”
a two-DVD set shot in 2000. One disc is devoted to a 49-minute recital
filmed at the Snape Maltings Concert Hall in Great Britain. The program
consisted of Haydn’s “Piano Sonata in E Flat Major,” Mozart’s “Piano
Sonata in C Minor,” and Schubert’s “Impromptu No. 3 in G Flat, D 899.”
While listening, I couldn’t help thinking that more satisfying performances
The other disc lets us observe Brendel’s offstage life by acquainting us
with his friends and family, against the backdrop of his country home in
England. Apparently, he’s lived in London since 1971.
While watching these discs, you get the impression that Alfred Brendel
is an extremely “cultured” man, with a wide-ranging interest in several
art forms. In addition, a 30-minute “one-on-one” session at the piano
with Simon Rattle is included. Together, they review the scores of
Beethoven’s “Second and Third Piano Concertos.” Brendel even treats
us to a reading of some of his poetry!
In my opinion, “Alfred Brendel: In Portrait” earns the highest marks.