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Alfred Brendel on Music: Collected Essays by Alfred Brendel

By Alfred Brendel

During this definitive assortment of a popular pianist's writings—some of them by no means sooner than released in English—Alfred Brendel brings the readability and originality of expression that represent his performances to the broadcast web page. even if discussing Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt, Schoenberg, or different pianists, his reflections will end up beneficial to severe piano gamers and listeners alike.

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Nothingness is the worldgod waiting yet to be born (das Nichts ist das It is homage to the majesty of the absurd which zu gebärende Weltgott). bespeaks the presence of human beings. Danton’s Death ends with Lucile—most Ophelia- This, Ladies and Gentlemen, has no definitive like—mounting the steps of the guillotine where name, but I believe that this is . . poetry (die the guards are sleeping. She shouts, “Long live the Dichtung). King! )” It seems like a suicidal gesture and one imagines that she is swiftly dis- Fascinatingly, Celan places Lucile’s act under the patched, although Büchner leaves the audience to aegis of Kropotkin’s anarchism of mutual aid and draw that inference.

I wore out two copies of working in a sheet-metal factory with my dad. So, “Heroes” by imitating the bass parts on my Fender when Bowie half sang the words, in “Sound and Jazz copy, and lost my third. I thought to myself Vision,” “Drifting into my solitude,” it had a pro- and told anyone whose ear I could bend that this found effect. I too had been low. was how music should sound. I still think that’s true. The effects of the recording and production Punk changed all that, and by March 1977 I was techniques in “Heroes” can still be heard loud and wearing black bondage trousers, a Lewis leather clear in contemporary music—for example the jacket, and twelve-hole Dr.

This fourfold pattern is perhaps clearest 1969 and 1980, excluding live recordings, com- in the inhabitation of American soul and R & B in pilations, plus all that he did for Lou Reed on Young Americans. A perfect imitation of a genre Transformer (Reed’s best-selling and best solo also leads to its subtle elevation and then Bowie album), for Iggy Pop on the monumental The Idiot gets bored, destroys it, and moves on. Station and Lust for Life, for Mott the Hoople, and even to Station is informed by clear traces of Young for plucky little Lulu, Bowie effectively disappears Americans, but is already shedding its skin and in 1980.

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