The mix of thoughtfulness and brilliance that irradiates [Brendel's] performances infuses these spirited essays.—Susan Sontag
Alfred Brendel, one of the greatest pianists of our time, is renowned for his masterly interpretations of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Liszt, and has been credited with rescuing from oblivion the piano music of Schubert's last years. Far from having merely one string to his bow, however, Brendel is also one of the world's most remarkable writers on music—possessed of the rare ability to bring together the clarity and originality of expression that characterised his performances to the printed page.
The definitive collection of his award-winning writings and essays, Music, Sense and Nonsense combines all of his work originally published in his two classic books, Musical Thoughts and Afterthoughts and Music Sounded Out, along with significant new material on a lifetime of recording, performance habits, and reflections on life and art.
As well as providing stimulating reading, this new edition yields a unique insight into the exceptional mind of one of the outstanding musicians of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Whether discussing Bach or Beethoven, Schubert or Schoenberg, Brendel's essays are both illuminating and challenging, a treasure for the specialist and the music lover alike.
Alfred Brendel is known for his recordings, international concert appearances and writings. He was awarded an honorary knighthood in 1989.
The mix of thoughtfulness and brilliance that irradiates his performances infuses these spirited essays. Susan Sontag
Alfred Brendel is among the most literate and verbally compelling, as well as thoughtful, of living pianists, constantly jogging received opinions and exciting argument. William Mann, The Times
Music, Sense and Nonsense includes a vivid reflection on a long musical life, but at its heart is a series of engrossing dissections of the piano music of Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann. The Sunday Times
He writes so well that it seems unfair in someone who plays as he does. The Spectator
A blending of the musical and human, historical and personal. It is what gives his writing, like his playing, its sense of excitement and commitment. The Economist