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4.7 out of 5 stars28
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 2 March 2009
The recording for this duo CD set dates back to the early 1970s when Alfred Brendel was arguably at his peak. Certainly, it is difficult to believe that these lovely piano pieces have ever been better played. The performances receive the highest rating (a rosette) in the Penguin Guide (2008), this being well merited. Brendel's superb technique and flowing lines have a hypnotic quality, such that one just has to keep on listening. The engineers have done a good job of remastering to CD; however, the sound seems to me just a touch compressed compared with the best modern recordings (hence the four stars). Nevertheless, at this bargain price, no prospective purchaser need hesitate.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 12 August 2011
Brendel isn't always my cup of tea - I often find his playing too cerebral and lacking in beauty - but I think he's spot on in this recording. It took me a while to fully appreciate its quality. I recently compared the Impromptus to my previous favourite, Radu Lupu, as well as Zimerman, Perahia and the earlier and later Brendel recordings and, to my surprise, found that this one was consistently my favourite, piece by piece. The same applies to the Moments Musicaux (I've never heard No. 3 played with such an infectious spring in its step) and the German Dances. Nothing too cerebral here - Brendel engages the head as well as the heart. Beautiful Schubert playing.
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on 30 November 2011
I was completely captivated when I heard Alfred Brendel play Schubert and Mozart in the Wiener Musikverein some 30 years ago and have been a fan ever since. His thoughtful aplication of sheer technique, his intellectual penetration and emotional mastery of Schubert's works make this recording quite outstanding. With the Impromptus it is so easy to give in to the lyricism and beauty of the music, and to forget about the passion and the pain on which it is grounded - but Brendel is never in any danger of this. He captures Schubert's wistfulness perfectly without becoming maudlin. Just listen to the melancholia without which the German Dances can never be done any justice to. Great value for so little money!
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on 27 August 2010
The second Impromptu has always been my favourite piano piece and this recording by Alfred Brendel is perfect.
Quite often the odd impromptu is mixed with other Schubert piano pieces,but I value having them all on one CD.
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on 15 December 2010
This is an excellent and complete recording of Schubert's Impromptus, and well worth adding to a CD collection of his works. I'm glad I purchased it.
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on 11 July 2014
I wonder just how impromptu these compositions actually were? The music is as beautiful and fresh sounding as you would expect. If they were truly written on the spur of the moment, I tip my hat to the genius that was Schubert (Little Mushroom to his friends). I also tip my hat unconditionally to the wonderful talent that is Alfred Brendel, often seen sporting a hat of his own. A flat cap, I believe.
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on 17 April 2012
This is nn excellent grouping of Schubert piano favourites played magnificently by the incomparable Alfred Brendel. I have no hesitation in thoroughly recommending this recording.
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on 27 November 2013
Sublime music beautifully interpreted by a master. Wish I could play like this. Price for the double CD was an added bonus.
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on 2 August 2011
Really beautifully recorded, but Brendel is MUCH too 'heavy handed', thus, for the most part totally losing the wonderful lyricism of these Schubert masterpieces. Were it not for the wonderful job the sound engineers did, I would not have rated this even 3 stars.
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on 11 June 2016
Ok, by all means. Thanks.
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