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Schubert: Impromptus, D 899 & D 935

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Schubert: Impromptus, D 899 & D 935
  • +
  • Schubert: Piano Sonata No 21, D 960; Wanderer Fantasie, D760
  • +
  • Schubert: Piano Sonatas No 18, D 894 & No 15, D 840
Total price: £52.15
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Product details

  • Performer: Alfred Brendel
  • Composer: Franz Schubert
  • Audio CD (10 Aug. 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B0000040ZU
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,179 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

BRENDEL ALFRED

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Having owned at least 8 versions of this lovely music by top pianists I have sold all the rest because this is the best. Man, piano and music are one in an effortlessly lyrical yet powerful experience.
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Format: Audio CD
I thought the reviewer who suggested that if you had not heard this recording you had not lived was maybe being a little excessive. I just didn't recognise the disc in its new cover. definitely a 6 out of 5!
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Format: Audio CD
The Coolidge Effect is well known. The Thirtieth President of the United States and his consort were touring a government farm but separately so. The First Lady noticed that a rooster was mating frequently. She asked the attendant how often it happened and was told, "Dozens of times each day." She replied, "Tell that to the President when he comes by." Upon being told, President Coolidge asked, "Same hen every time?" The reply was, "No, Mr. President: it's a different hen every time." The President commented spritely: "Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge!"

I am not going to comment specifically on this phenomenon lest darkness come upon me - even so, it's applicable to my allegiance in Schubert's Impromptus wherein the theorem is refuted in this circumstance at least.

I am no fan of Alfred Brendel. I would rather drink petrol than (re)listen to his Beethoven, Mozart (sonatas) and Liszt. His Schumann is sturdy and that's about it. In Schubert, he was ridiculously over-recorded. Like all of us, however, Brendel's endeavours are subject to a bell curve. There are performances which originate from the right-hand rim of the bell such as the Hungarian Melody in B Minor (analogue, not digital recording); the Klavierstücke D 946 (again, the analogue version from Philips) and the digital D 894 from the 1987 cycle.

I am not surprised to find that his 1987 survey of the Impromptus has garnered so many laurels here on Amazon. Unlike President Coolidge and his chickens, this performance weaves its magic on me time after time after time. On my part, there have been flirtations but no act of adultery with the likes of Edwin Fischer, Perahia or Zimmerman: my loyalty is steadfast. Additionally, this endeavour is more successful than Brendel's analogue survey from 1972. Why so?
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Beautiful.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brendel does a good JOB . 10 May 2014
By buznzmgmt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For my husband and I.......Alfred Brendel comes next to Murray Perahia when interpreting the Impromptus. Brendel is the best for Beethoven inerpretation
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious Schubert 2 Feb. 2014
By R. E. Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What a treat to have all of the beautiful piano impromptus
in one collection. I play this all the time and revel in the
music.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Schubert impromptus, Brendel version 14 May 2007
By opera maven - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've loved this CD for years. Recently bought another as a gift for friends who are also Brendel admirers. They tell me they may wear a hole in the disc, that's how much they love it.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wanderer and the Chickens 13 Jan. 2013
By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The Coolidge Effect is well known. The Thirtieth President of the United States and his consort were touring a government farm but separately so. The First Lady noticed that a rooster was mating frequently. She asked the attendant how often it happened and was told, "Dozens of times each day." She replied, "Tell that to the President when he comes by." Upon being told, President Coolidge asked, "Same hen every time?" The reply was, "No, Mr. President: it's a different hen every time." The President commented spritely: "Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge!"

I am not going to comment specifically on this phenomenon lest darkness come upon me - even so, it's applicable to my allegiance in Schubert's Impromptus wherein the theorem is refuted in this circumstance at least.

I am no fan of Alfred Brendel. I would rather drink petrol than (re)listen to his Beethoven, Mozart (sonatas) and Liszt. His Schumann is sturdy and that's about it. In Schubert, he was ridiculously over-recorded. Like all of us, however, Brendel's endeavours are subject to a bell curve. There are performances which originate from the right-hand rim of the bell such as the Hungarian Melody in B Minor (analogue, not digital recording); the Klavierstücke D 946 (again, the analogue version from Philips) and the digital D 894 from the 1987 cycle.

I am not surprised to find that his 1987 survey of the Impromptus has garnered so many laurels here on Amazon. Unlike President Coolidge and his chickens, this performance weaves its magic on me time after time after time. On my part, there have been flirtations but no act of adultery with the likes of Edwin Fischer, Perahia or Zimmerman: my loyalty is steadfast. Additionally, this endeavour is more successful than Brendel's analogue survey from 1972. Why so?

Longing. On so many levels, Schubert lived and died an unfulfilled man. It was a grotty existence. I do not know how Brendel managed to do it but here he channels all of Schubert's longing for transfiguration into these eight epistles. Take for example the A Flat Major from D 935 (the sixth impromptus). Compared with the G Flat Major and its counterpart in the same key from D 899, it receives scant attention. Here, it is played as a remembrance of things past, as if an immense happiness occurred in an edenic idyll which is now receding away and lost forever, "like tears in the rain". I have never heard anyone else play it with such consummate longing and fire. Brendel observes every possible repeat in the opening F Minor of D 935 thereby bringing to mind Schumann's "heavenly length" comment. The second subject of this impromptus, as played like this, could almost be a summation of Schubert's art.

We all have our favourite performance of these miraculous works. To my mind, Brendel bets the house in 1987. And wins.
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gold Standard Among Greats 13 Feb. 2002
By Christopher Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Schubert's Impromptus are among my most favorite piano music. Schubert is unique among composers in that he can evoke the most complex emotions out of the simplest and most irresistible melodies, and the changes of mood even within the space of a few bars are staggering in these pieces. To me they are the greatest measure of a pianist's heart, because while the technical challenges of the Impromptus are not enormous, a pianist must possess the kind of empathy necessary to follow the music's journey into the depths of human heartbreak and joy.
Because I love this music so much, I either own or have borrowed from libraries many interpretations--Perahia, Uchida, Zimerman, Pires, Kempff--yet Brendel remains the standard against which all the others must be measured. His approach to the Impromptus is deceptively direct, never overwrought and precious, and he just lays bare their infinite richness without holding back or muddying their overall effect.
My other favorite is Perahia, who is a little more restrained in his playing, and who is in his own way every bit as impressive as Brendel, so I'd have to say it is difficult to choose between the two. In the end I suppose it just comes down to personal preference, and here I have to go with Brendel, because his interpretations seem a shade less mannered and communicate to me the improvisatory (ie. the impromptu) nature of these compositions. Better though to own both, and hear for yourself the kinds of divergent responses these masterpieces cvan evoke.
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