Apparently, Alfred Brendel has just announced his retirement. After his 2008 season of endless concerts, he will be off to do other things. Good for him. His career has been illustrious and I myself have an untold number of recordings that attest to his fame and musical intelligence and sensibility. Of course, many of those recordings reach far back in time. So thank you for your service to music Mr. Brendel.
I am also thankful because his absence makes room for other deserving pianists to get more performances around the world. His packed concert houses will now be vacant unless filled by other extraordinary pianists. My co-blogger seems to enjoy the work of Yevgeny Sudbin or maybe it is Olli Mustonen who can fill the void? Who knows? The point is that as the generation of superstars retires, it leaves open miles of musical terrain for the new generation to fill. Isn't that part of the excitement about loving classical music nowadays? The older generation looks fondly upon who they were raised on: Toscanini, Karajan, Bernstein, Stern, Richter, Rostropovich. The list is endless and intimidating. But the future looks just as bright as the past did. Young and innovative conductors are taking the reins and endless highly capable and compelling soloists are making their way across the world. When you add in the amount and variety of music that is being composed, we are in an entirely new millennium filled with possibility. Now that is exciting.