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December 19, 2008

Alfred Brendel plays his final two concerts at Vienna’s Musikverein

One of the World’s great living pianists, Alfred Brendel, performed on his last concerts at the Vienna’s prestigious Musikverein.

I had the privilege to hear his concert on Wednesday, 17th December 2008. The event started with W. A. Mozart’s famous Symphony in G Minor – KV 550 – played by Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras.

The Orchestra was then joined by Maestro Brendel to perform “Jenamy” Piano Concerto in E flat Major – KV 271 – composed by Mozart when he was only 21 years old. Brendel played the concerto with great precision and control, combined with unsurpassed musicality and feeling. He received generous standing ovations, which were followed by two encores, including the beautiful Schubert’s Impromptu Op. 90 n. 3 in G flat Major.

“After so many years of being at the top of his profession, it is hard to imagine musical life without Alfred’s unique presence,” Sir Charles Mackerras, who conducted the Vienna Philharmonic for Brendel’s farewell performance, wrote in the concert program.

Although the two appearances in Musikverein were arguably the last concerts in Brendel’s career, we will certainly continue to enjoy his thoughtful interpretations through his recordings.

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