He wanted to leave the stage at the end of the concert, but the applause and bravi never stopped.
Alfred Brendel brought down the house earlier tonight at Teatro alla Scala in a farewell piano recital that brought the crowds to their feet, and coaxed four bis from the 77-year-old Austrian pianist.
Brendel is winding down his final days of playing on the tour circuit, as he will retire from stage on December 18, 2008 in Vienna's Musikverein with the Wiener & Mackerras. During the next two months, Brendel will travel through several European cities, and Opera Chic counts her blessings that Milan was his only Italy destination.
Earlier tonight, Brendel played (and hummed) a Haydn variation & sonatas by Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert by memory. A smattering of missed notes, ignored codas, an auto-pilot nonchalance, and his unwavering humming, Brendel's excellent pedal technique and bright&light tones made up for any aberrations.
The ticketholders hurled bravo after bravo @ Brendel, and although the exhaustion showed and Brendel's patience wore a bit thin at a few points, he returned for over a dozen curtain calls.