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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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
on 9 March 2012
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
on 27 October 2012
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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on 11 November 2015
We went to see this live at the Hay Festival - wonderful! Film doesn't capture the magic, but it's nice to have after seeing him in the flesh. What a genius. The world of music at his fingertips, he instantly recalls any phrase (no score!) and elaborates on it with disarming wit and intelligence. Every music director and performer should see this, it's widely relevant, not only for pianists.
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on 30 October 2014
Alfred Brendel, great performer
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