Cover 9781849549059

Alfred Brendel, one of the greatest pianists of our time, is renowned for his masterly interpretations of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Liszt, and has been credited with rescuing from oblivion the piano music of Schubert's last years. Far from having merely one string to his bow, however, Brendel is also one of the world's most remarkable writers on music – possessed of the rare ability to bring the clarity and originality of expression that characterised his performances to the printed page.

The definitive collection of his award-winning writings and essays, Music, Sense and Nonsense combines all of his work originally published in his two classic books, Musical Thoughts and Afterthoughts and Music Sounded Out, along with significant new material on a lifetime of recording, performance habits and reflections on life and art.

As well as providing stimulating reading, this new edition provides a unique insight into the exceptional mind of one of the outstanding musicians of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Whether discussing Bach or Beethoven, Schubert or Schoenberg, Brendel's reflections are illuminating and challenging, a treasure for the specialist and music lover alike.


"Not only an extraordinary musician but also an illuminating commentator."

Salley Vickers, The Guardian

Music, Sense and Nonsense includes a vivid reflection on a long musical life, but at its heart is a series of engrossing dissections of the piano music of Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann.”

The Sunday Times

“Alfred Brendel is an artist whose mind apparently never numbed, but stayed questing and curious, not content simply with making a piece work, but anxious to figure out the how and why of its working.”


'He writes so well that it seems unfair in someone who plays as he does.'


'Everything he writes demonstrates the acuteness of his intelligence as well as his depth of sensibility.'

Independent on Sunday
'The mix of thoughtfulness and brilliance that irradiates [Brendel's] performance infuses these spirited essays.'
Susan Sontag
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  • Paperback, 464 pages
  • ISBN: 9781785902673
  • 8 August 2017
  • £14.99

  • eBook
  • ISBN: 9781849549615
  • 18 August 2015
  • £9.99

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