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Me of All People: Alfred Brendel in Conversation with Martin Meyer Hardcover – October 18, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0801440991 ISBN-10: 0801440998 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (October 18, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801440998
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801440991
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Among the many enlightening and amusing things concert pianist Brendel says in this book-length interview is, "I specialize in what I am not playing." As followers of his career know, he never plays French or Russian music, adhering instead to Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Liszt; some Schumann and Brahms; and Schonberg's concerto. In these pages, they will find out his reasons for making such choices; his evaluation of how he and pianists he admires, as well as some he doesn't, have interpreted the Middle European heart of the piano literature; his estimation of the music he plays and doesn't play; and something of his life and his chief nonmusical pursuit: his sharply intelligent, lightly absurdist humorous poetry, which can be sampled in English in One Finger Too Many (1999). Astonishingly for so erudite a musician, he was the first in his family to pursue music at all. Equally astonishing to his detractors, who dislike his intellectuality, may be his emphatic dedication to emotional expression in piano playing. Must reading for serious music lovers. Ray Olson
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Review

"Me of All People is rather what one might expect from a talk with this pianist—it is erudite, wide-ranging and a little dry. . . . While parts of the book may be a little technical for non-musicians, the force of Brendel's intellect is a welcome change from the usual pabulum dished up in interviews with 'star' performers."—Washington Post Book World, 1/26/03

"It should go without saying that Me of All People, which summarizes much that Brendel has said elsewhere about composers, performing, and other pianists, is a compendium of observations that will entertain music lovers. It could serve as a model of how such books should be presented."—Michael Kimmelman, The New York Review of Books, Vol. L, No. 10

"This provocative book, written in his 70th year, reveals just how different Alfred Brendel was, and his, from his keyboard colleagues, in more respects than merely his unique mastery of the Central-European piano repertoire."—Michael Church, Financial Times, December 2002.

"I think you will find everything readable and stimulating."—Vroon, American Record Guide, Jan/Feb. 2003.

"Today, it is harder than ever for aspiring performers to sustain successful careers. For them, Me of All People offers much timely insight. Brendel . . . shares a lifetime of wisdom on such topics as the importance of virtuosity, the changing tastes of audiences, the relevance of critical reviews, and the challenges of recording. As a bonus, alert readers can glean valuable lessons about life."—Richard Bobo, American Music Teacher, December/January 2003/2004

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Marotte on July 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Numerous books are in print about Horowitz and the like. But there has never been much, aside from recordings, about my favorite pianist, Alfred Brendel. Recently, a two-DVD set was released entitled Alfred Brendel -- in Portrait. It was great, with one DVD dedicated to performance, the other, a biographical special. But the Brendel fan can delve a bit deeper with this book. Brendel speaks of a wide variety of topics, from his views on Balakirev's Islamey and Rachmaninoff to his views on politics and religion. There are some really interesting ideas and quotes interspersed that can be inspirational not only to the player, but also to the individual encountering life experiences each day. I highly recommend.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Alan Beggerow VINE VOICE on July 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It must be said up front that this is not a book for the casual classical music lover. If you are not familiar with the classical piano literature or Mr. Brendel's recordings, this is not the book for you.
But for the advanced classical piano student or knowledgeable listener, this book sheds much light on Mr. Brendel's opinions and thoughts about the great composers and how he feels they should be played. He is not just a virtuoso pianist, but a world-class musician. His comments on interpretation of the classics and about other famous pianists, past and present, are quite interesting.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book gives the musical performer or concert goer an insight into Brendel's views on the music that he loves; from Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart and Schubert to Liszt. He details his career from the start, his opinions on other musicians and composers, and the art of recording and performing. Many insights are given on the interpretation of music, his own technique, the choice of pianos, and playing for singers. A fascinating read.
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Me of All People: Alfred Brendel in Conversation with Martin Meyer
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