Donald Satz wrote:
>Those are fightin' words, but I tend to be a lover. Brendel doesn't
>wreck compositions, he illuminates them with a wonderful blend of
>instinct and intellect.
Choose your weapons, sir! I will arrange for my seconds to call on you.
Seriously, after 15 years of trying to appreciate Brendel (and that was
30 years ago) I gave up, and now wouldn't cross the road to listen---even
given a free ticket. Yes, I do occasionally hear a piece played by him
on a radio programme, and he doesn't seem to have changed. Have you
heard his version of the Weber Konzerstucke? Ugh? You can hear him
struggling in all the climaxes and failing to bring off the joy.. Compare
it with the ease of Ogden. No, it's not great music, but the mark of
the 'great' pianist (Rachmanninov, Schnabel, Horowitz, Pletnev, for
example) is to show that lesser works are worth listening to, as well
as giving great performances of the standards.
I guess it is like Wagner: you love him or hate him. But honestly, I
did try! He gave a concert at Newcastle University about 7 years ago
which some friends of mine from the music dept. attended. The verdict
of all was "Not bad, but nothing special".
I don't know about you, but I can't listen to the 'deeper' works too
often without losing the sense of wonder and satisfaction they produce.
Once or twice a year for the late Beethoven sonatas.