Father and Son!

Alfred and Adrian Brendel

Beethoven’s Complete works for Cello and Piano

There are quite a few musical families. I’ll name a few:

  • Rudolf Serkin, and son, Peter.  
  • N Y Philharmonic conductor Alan Gilbert, and his mother, a violinist in the orchestra;
  • Jonathan Biss, and his mother, violinist Miriam Fried.
  • Alisa Weilerstein and her father, Donald Weilerstein, of the Cleveland Quartet. 

In this CD, we have Alfred Brendel, and his son, Cellist Adrian Brendel. The music includes:

  1. Sonatas for cello & piano No. 1-5
  2. Variations for cello & piano in F major on Mozart’s “Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen”
  3. Variations for cello & piano in G major on Handel’s “See, the Conqu’ring Hero comes”
  4. Variations for cello & piano in E flat major on Mozart’s “Bei Männern,”

There is some really wonderful playing here: Outstanding musical phrasing, great balance between the two instruments, a dedication to the integrity of the music, and great sound. What a joy this must be for Brendel, the father, to have produced such a recording with his son! And in many areas one can easily hear the humor in this music, particularly in the Magic Flute variations.

The Sonatas are equally wonderful! My great favorite is the A-Major, which father and son perform beautifully, and with a very tasteful and satisfying interpretation. Alfred Brendel shows us again that he is a pianist of outstanding sensitivity and skill. His touch of the keys is amazing; and Adrian’s Cello sound seems to fit so beautifully in and out, as though perfectly interwoven into the piano score.

Make no mistake about it: This kind of playing took great skill, and great love of music to prepare. And what a gift it is for the listener! Highly recommended!

Click below to hear Adrian Brendel talk about his background in music.

Click below to hear a wonderful 5-minute audio extract of the Beethoven Cello Sonata number 2 in G – Minor, played by Adrian and Alfred Brendel.

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