Me of All People: Alfred Brendel in Conversation with Martin Meyer

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Cornell University Press, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 275 pages
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"I was not a child prodigy; indeed, I had none of the requisite qualities for making a successful career." This "shortcoming" has not prevented Alfred Brendel from becoming one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century. His solo recitals and appearances with the leading orchestras of the world make him a regular guest in London, Paris, New York, Vienna, Berlin, Munich, and Amsterdam, and at the major European and American music festivals.In a series of dialogues with Martin Meyer, Brendel speaks about his life, the development of his career, his music-making, his travels, his poems and essays; about his childhood in Zagreb, adolescence in Graz, and experiences as a young man in Vienna ("I was in Vienna, but I was never a 'genuine' Viennese"); about literature, painting, architecture, and kitsch. Brendel talks about the freedoms and obligations of a performer and discusses the work ofmusicians who have fascinated him—Alfred Cortot, Edwin Fischer, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Wilhelm Kempff, and Bruno Walter—and those who have irritated him, as did Glenn Gould. The conversations between Brendel and Meyer are both serious and witty. Me of All People abounds in amusing anecdotes and contains penetrating insights into the music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Liszt, Busoni, and Schoenberg. Alfred Brendel emerges as a deep thinker, a passionate skeptic, and an emotional musician. He is a multitalented figure with an engaging sense of humor, a healthy dose of modesty, and an enormous appetite for life.

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About the author (2002)

Alfred Brendel is known for his recordings, international concert appearances, and writings. He has been credited with almost single-handedly rescuing from oblivion the piano music of Schubert's last years. He was awarded an honorary knighthood in 1989.

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