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Musical notes

While Brendel was youthful as well as masterful in his farewell Prom, Simon Rattle still hasn't found a distinctive voice for the Berlin Philharmonic

By Stephen Everson   October 2004

Alfred Brendel’s farewell to the Proms The most notable concert in this year’s Proms was Alfred Brendel’s final live broadcast, and hence final Prom. In the first half, the Philharmonia under Christoph von Dohnányi gave a subtle and refined performance of Brahms’s 3rd symphony. The second half began with Harrison Birtwistle’s charming settings of three of Brendel’s poems, and then the orchestra was joined by Brendel himself for the Emperor concerto. Anyone who had switched on the radio without knowing who was playing would have been hard put to guess that this was a farewell performance by an elder statesman.…

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