Friday 28 May 2004

Alfred Brendel in talk

Simon couldn’t resist telling what it was. The surprise. Even though it would no longer be a surprise once he’d have told me.
I was on internet chatting with him, me in Paris, him in Vienna. So after a minute of guessing, I found out he got tickets to see Alfred Brendel playing at the prestigious Musikvereinssaal.
That name is like a ‘madeleine de Proust’. Say it and I would instantly see a scene of my childhood. Not only my times at the piano – which weren’t that joyous then. Maybe one of those harmonious family evenings, with the two parents reading silently and me and my brother making up new games, while a Beethoven or Schubert record would be playing on the stereo.
When I saw Alfred Brendel explaining to the audience his choice for the upcoming concert, I was more moved by the aerial passion he was exhaling, than what he had to say.
Here was a man who’d devoted his entire life to music. I don’t know how he was like as a young artist. It took time, he said. Now he’s taking time, and hopefully, will have a little more time to take.
Non Alfred Brendel hasn’t aged.
And we’re still alive!

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