The detail and the whole. Alfred Brendel on making and thinking about music

Alfred Brendel inaugurated the “Un caffè con” season, which brought the illustrious guests of Trame Sonore to the courtyard of Palazzo Castiglioni in front of an audience of enthusiastic Mantuans. The conversation touched on numerous events in the career of the great pianist, focusing on the importance of details in the execution and analysis of a piece.

Brendel explained how a single note, the detail of one phrasing, can enhance or, if executed in error perhaps because of initial preconceptions, can ruin a performance.
Contrary to what you might think, the analysis of a piece focuses on the general elements, while it is only through acquiring a familiarity with the piece itself, an intimate awareness and knowledge of it, and experiencing it, can you bring out the details that make it unique. First, you must enter in symbiosis with the piece and then move onto the analysis.