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Alfred Brendel

PUBLISHED: 11:26 26 June 2006 | UPDATED: 15:43 22 October 2010

MICHAEL DRAKE

Snape Maltings (Aldeburgh Festival)

Snape Maltings (AldeburghFestival)

The stage appeared just too bare - not a flower in sight and a spotlight on the grand piano. Enter a maestro, and from the first chord of Haydn's Piano Sonata in D there was an expectant atmosphere as the celebrated recitalist opened with a delicacy which continued in many of the variations in

the first movement until turning to a filigree of sound before a typical light-hearted ending.

Later, in the same composer's Sonata in C, Alfred Brendel gave a free-flowing performance with some telling pauses. Here was joyful Haydn with the inevitable little surprise.

One of his successors was Schubert, and it was in his more intense Sonata No 18 that Brendel colourfully brought out its many contrasts - the third movement waltz full of sensitivity leading to a finale given highly liquid treatment.

Finally, and without knowledge, would one immediately recognise the Phantasia in C minor as from the pen of Mozart? In its entirety perhaps, but not in the solemn opening, where once again Brendel, produced a charged, sensitive and emotional performance.


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