One of the world's master musicians, Austrian-born, London-residing pianist Alfred Brendel turned 70 earlier this year, and his label of some 30 years, Philips, has issued several discs to mark the mi

One of the world's master musicians, Austrian-born, London-residing pianist Alfred Brendel turned 70 earlier this year, and his label of some 30 years, Philips, has issued several discs to mark the milestone. In the "Philips 50" anniversary line, the label issued a disc sampling his digital survey of Beethoven sonatas. Among new releases came another installment in his series of Mozart concertos with Sir Charles Mackerras, as well as a two-disc set of Schubert sonatas. This live disc, drawn from the pianist's '80s programs at the Salzburg Festival, showcases Brendel doing what few do so well—moving from the poetic to the witty to the theatrical and back again. It starts with Haydn's F Minor Variations and C Major Sonata No. 50, along with a pair of deeply felt Schubert sonatas, the D784 in A minor and the unfinished "Reliquie." Liszt's awesome transcription of the "Liebestod" from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde closes the proceedings on a heart-stopping note.—BB

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