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Alfred Brendel - On Music: Three Lectures [DVD] [2011] [NTSC]

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Product details

  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: C Major Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 1 April 2011
  • Run Time: 224 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003WL7EJ4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,735 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

The 2 DVD-set of legendary pianist and one of the greatest musical thinkers of our age, Alfred Brendel contains 3 lectures, which he illustrates on the piano with musical excerpts from Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Handel, Schubert and more. On January 5th 2011 Brendel celebrated his 80th birthday Presented specifically to be recorded audio-visually, these lectures were held in rooms of the Salzburg Festival. Thanks to their successful blend of music and theory, they are informative and entertaining not only for experts but also for all lovers of music with an interest in deepening their understanding of the subject. Brendel is still performing these lectures all over the world.


Eccentric and endearing lectures by one of music's great essayists --Gramophone,Awards issue,11

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By maximus TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 May 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I would class myself as someone who, whilst not a music scholar, knows quite a bit about music and theory of music and performance. I have seen Brendel perform in Manchester's Bridgewater Hall (a repertoire ranging from Mozart to Beethoven and Schubert) and also have several of his recordings, including the Schoenberg concerto ... So I would also class myself as an ardent fan of Alfred Brendel. Therefore approaching the viewing of this DVD set, I was both looking forward to it and hoping to find out a bit more about the man and his thoughts. On that basis, the series of 3 lectures are very revealing. They do bring an additional dimension to the knowledge of Brendel as a performer and as an witty enthusiastic exponent of not just his own repertoire but music and musical performance in general.

Had I not known much about music theory or never played an instrument in my life, I am not sure how heavy going I might have found the series. Possibly a bit dry, as it is essentially Brendel sat by a grand piano in a small hall, with select audience (in Salszburg) and he talks about a range of subjects (from humour in classical music to details of performance traditions) and he mainly talks in a reading (as opposed to orating) style and turns to the piano with some well made examples (musical extracts to highlight the points he is making). But perhaps someone with little musical knowledge may not seek or come across this DVD release, unless they are a huge fan of Brendel's. For myself, in the context already explained, I enjoyed and most of all learnt a lot from watching the lectures. Even with my background knowledge and experience, his style of lecturing was a bit dry but nevertheless it is interspersed with his genuine wit and humour which is what carried the lot throug and kept me interested.

Warmly recommend
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By PPL on 9 Mar 2012
Format: DVD
Brendel exposes a few themes of his book "On music". Though he reads the text of the corresponding chapters with lack of spontaneity, sometimes in a monotonous and boring way, the wonder of the examples, the quality of the performance at the piano and the content of the subjects pays off. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fredrik Montelius on 27 Oct 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
These lectures on music may well become classic ones, even though some people may regard them as a bit on the dry side: Even his lecture 'Does classical music have to be entirely serious' is dealing with humour in music in an academically dry way, although Mr. Brendel's witty ways with words and his own sense of humour certainly is perceptible to anyone open to hour-long lectures.

Not very unlike Leonard Bernsteins Unanswered Question 1-6: Bernstein Lectures [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC], Brendel offers even more fruitful insights into the matters of music perception, inasmuch as Bernstein's anlayses now have become obsolete because the research on language has moved on to a point where Bernstein's conclusions simply must be considered false. Brendel's dealing with intellectual properties of music is probably far more 'timeless.' These lectures are a great source of inspiration to anyone interested in such matters.
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By A.A. van Hoek on 30 Oct 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Alfred Brendel, great performer
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining set of lectures, with a few performance examples 28 Jun 2011
By Matthew Wilcox - Published on
Format: DVD
This 2-disc DVD set contains three 75-minute lectures on music theory, performance and appreciation. The first two lectures are on the first DVD, and the third lecture is on the second disc. Alfred Brendel has performed, written about and spoken about classical music for many years. This series of lectures were given after his retirement from musical performance. They are mostly spoken, with some performed musical examples, so be warned if you were looking for a concert or recital performance.

Brendel has a dry wit, but he is extremely articulate. An intermediate knowledge of music theory would be helpful in order to fully appreciate the lectures, but they can still be enjoyed without. The lectures are entitled "Does Classical music have to be entrierly serious?", "Musical Characters as exemplified in Beethoven's Piano Sonatas", and "Light and Shade of Interpretation".

Brendel mentions composers from Bach and Mozart to Schoenberg and Ligeti in his first lecture. I think, for the sake of better understanding, musical examples should have been provided for all of the works Brendel mentions, and there certainly would have been room (perhaps under "extras"). However, the performance examples Brendel does provide are played expertly, and do not take away from the focus on the lecture itself.

Any fan of the music of Beethoven will find enlightenment in the second lecture, and might find themselves revisiting recordings of the piano sonatas and hearing something entirely new. The third lecture often shows notation during musical performances. It would have been nice to include visuals in all three lectures, but you are still left with a better understanding of some of the subtleties of musical performance that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Beethoven: Favourite Piano Sonatas
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Charm and clarity - Alfred Brendel on music 4 Jan 2014
By P. Adrian - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Alfred Brendel retired from the international concert platform on 18 December 2008 by giving a last concert to a packed Golden Hall at Musikverein in Vienna. He then came to full stop concertizing by his own choice, but happily his public appearances went on since. Although he gives no more concerts with orchestras or solo recitals, Brendel delivers – in addition to poetry readings that unfold his second professional life - a seductive and illuminating series of lectures on music. The latter constitute the subject of the 2-DVD box under focus here.

Entitled in order: “Doer classical music have to be entirely serious?”, “Musical characters as exemplified in Beethoven’s piano sonatas” and “Light and shade of interpretation” respectively, these three lectures were recorded in Salzburg (25-27 September 2010). They were delivered at many other venues (musical festivals, universities, cultural programs) so that I was in September 2011 the privileged witness of one such lecture in Bucharest during the XXth edition of the “George Enescu” International Festival

I do consider these recorded lectures as a precious treasure. Not only for I adore Brendel’s pianistic style, but also for I really enjoy being taught about the subtleties and beauties classical music contains. It is very important, in my opinion, that such musical giants as Brendel find time and energy to spend in making people deeply love and understand the great music. Charm and clarity are the main pillars Brendel’s proceedings here are based on. Not to speak about his fabulous inspiration when he exemplifies at the keyboard. Each time I watched these lectures – gorgeously illuminating in explanations, but frustratingly chary in time allotted to performed exemplifications - I felt the need to play entirely Brendel’s recordings, which constitute, by the way, the most important artist shelf (65 items) of my collection.

I strongly recommend these DVDs to all those interested in profoundly understanding and endlessly loving the great music!
7 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Only for Scholars 1 Feb 2012
By Gyorgy Troyko - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I read a fantastic critical review in a leading brazilian newspaper, on how Mr. Brendel will give you a lesson to understand and love classical music even more. I immediately ordered it from from Amazon.
Well, I am just an ordinary classical music fan, love and enjoy several composers, but all was absolutely beyond me. I was an alien at the lesson. I have no musical instruction, I just love also classical music.
They are lectures for scholars. So many superlative adjectives told, and comments of famous musicians about that particular part of a composition, and then a few seconds play of that part, that I would have liked to hear a few times more or more explained as to understand it, and than it was over. It was good to humbly realize I know nothing about classical music. And to marvel of Mr. Brendel's incredible sympathy, talent and mental capacity of playing so many different pieces from hart, no partitur.
So, watch out if you are not deeply in.
I, in reality, got angry with that critic, who wasn't writing for the 600.000 daily subscribers, but only for a few one. And was more boasting his erudition than helping ordinary people to know and love classical music more.
Gyorgy Troyko - Sao Paulo - Brazil
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