wed 17/10/2018

Set The Piano Stool on Fire: on filming Alfred Brendel | reviews, news & interviews

Set The Piano Stool on Fire: on filming Alfred Brendel

Set The Piano Stool on Fire: on filming Alfred Brendel

Director Mark Kidel on his intimate film about genius and protégé

The genius and the prodigy: Kit Armstrong and Alfred BrendelImages © John Batten

When Alfred Brendel first mentioned Kit Armstrong to me, in early 2008, I knew there was a film there. He was brimming with excitement: Kit had come to him with an interpretation of a Chopin Nocturne that displayed a command and maturity that was baffling considering Kit was 13 at the time of the recording. Alfred led me into his inner sanctum, a practice room filled to bursting with two Steinways, a large carved idol from New Guinea, Liszt’s death mask and a rich and varied collection of paintings and images, some of them revealing the pianist’s wicked Dadaist sense of humour. He slipped the CD into the player, his eyes sparkling with enthusiasm.

There is something deep that passes between them and which goes beyond the mere imparting of wisdom, technique and musical interpretation

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