As Alfred Brendel celebrates his 80th birthday on 5 January 2011, Decca is marking this momentous occasion with FOUR major catalogue releases.
“Everything has its place yet nothing sounds contrived. Brendel is an intellectual but not, at the piano, a lecturer. He illuminates but never pontificates. Seldom has his capacity for symphonic synthesis found nobler or more stirring expression than in the present reading of the Brahms D minor Concerto...[The Mozart] had me wreathed in smiles of sheer delight.” --BBC Music Magazine, April 2011 *****
“Perhaps the biggest thrill is Brendel's Brahms First from 1985...Right from the thunderous opening timpani roll it packs a terrific punch...[Brendel's reading] never tr[ies] to lure the listener through sumptuousness of tone but instead offer[s] piercing intelligence and a sure-footed way through Brahms's mountainous landscape...[The Beethoven] is a reading of profound wisdom, pathos and tenderness that leaves you wishing for more.” --Gramophone Magazine, May 2011
“he is in absolute control throughout, technically flawless and with a characteristic clarity of texture. What especially distinguishes Brendel's interpretations is the way that the structure and the architecture of the work comes foremost...the playing [of Op. 110] is of unfailing beauty, with the final return to the tonic key a true apotheosis and a triumphant homecoming.” --International Record Review, March 2011