Wednesday, October 26, 2011, 8pm
Thursday, October 27, 2011, 8pm
The Music Room, SPCO Center
Student rush $12
October 26, 2011- An Evening of Music with Alfred Brendel, piano
On Character in Music- The lecture sets out to show that in musical performances the perception of character and atmosphere is no less important than that of form and structure. The belief that the structure of a work automatically reveals its character is a fallacy. The notion of character appears in 18th century treatises on interpretation as well as in writing on aesthetics where it is first discussed at the time when Beethoven's sonatas begin to appear. Czerny's comments on Beethoven's piano works are full of references to character. The pianist's task becomes related to that of a character actor identifying with different roles, with an ever widening awareness of the staggering emotional and psychological variety great music has to offer.
October 27, 2011 - An Evening of Poetry with Alfred Brendel
After the announcement of his retirement from the concert stage in 2008, Alfred Brendel, the famous pianist who during his six decades of performances has mastered the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Liszt among many others, is now concentrating on his second passion: poetry.
Brendel’s poetry presents a world of enchanting humor, music and madness, which has drawn praise from the playwright Harold Pinter and Former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion among many others.
Not surprisingly, many of Brendel’s poems evoke the world of classical music. In one poem, Beethoven, disguised as Salieri, poisons a sleeping Mozart and skulks away clutching, forever, Mozart’s greatest possession: the key of C minor. Elsewhere, the conceptual artist Christo wraps the Three Tenors on the balcony of La Scala. In another, the supernumerary index finger of the pianist takes center stage and becomes an obstinate cougher in the hall beckoning a lady in the third row.
view Alfred Brendel's biography
Alfred Brendel studied piano and composition in Zagreb and Graz, completing his piano studies with Edwin Fischer, Paul Baumgartner and Eduard Steuermann. For 60 years he has enjoyed a distinguished international career concentrating on the works of central European composers from Bach to Schoenberg as well as featuring many works by Liszt. He was the first pianist to record Beethoven’s complete piano works, and was highly influential in getting Schubert’s Piano Sonatas and the Schoenberg Piano Concerto recognized as integral parts of the piano repertoire. He has performed regularly at the world’s musical centers and festivals, and with the leading orchestras and conductors, and his extensive discography has made him one of the most respected artists of our time. His final concert appearance was with the Vienna Philharmonic on December 18, 2008, which was voted one of the 100 greatest cultural moments of the last ten years by The Daily Telegraph.
In October 2011, Alfred Brendel, who has performed on the International Artist Series five times over the past 28 years and has since retired from performing full recitals, will present two evenings in Saint Paul. The first is entitled “On Character in Music,” and Mr. Brendel will share as well as demonstrate his thoughts centered around Beethoven’s sonatas. The second evening with Mr. Brendel will be centered around poetry.
"Brendel's playing is distinguished by its heightened intellectual and emotional intensity, by his ability to energize details while sustaining taut lines, by his infallible grasp of musical architecture and by his extraordinary empathy with composers. His performances often achieve a sense of inevitability. Surely, a listener feels, this is what the composer intended." -Time