Alfred Brendel is one of the greatest pianists in the world. Here he distils a lifetime’s musical knowledge from how to play Bach, Mozart and Liszt to when to cough during a recitalA for art and artistsThere are those who believe that delving into the biography of artists ensures a deeper perception of their art. I am not one of them. The notion that a work of art has to mirror the person of the artist, that man and work are an equation, that the integrity of the person proves the integrity of his production – such a belief seems to me to belong, particularly in the area of music, to the realm of wishful thinking. Beethoven’s frequently chaotic handwriting in his letters and musical autographs reminds us of his domestic disarray as we know it from pictures and descriptions. In complete contrast, there is the enduring order of his compositions. The person of a great composer and his work remain to me incommensurable: a human being with its limitations facing a well-nigh limitless musical universe. There are exceptional cases where events from the composer’s life can be traced in the music. Beethoven, in his Sonata Op 110, composed the …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books