If I belong to a tradition it is a tradition that makes the masterpiece tell the performer what he should do and not the performer telling the piece what it should be like, or the composer what he ought to have composed. Alfred Brendel's place among the greatest musicians of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries is assured. Renowned for his masterly interpretations of the works of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Liszt, he is one of the indisputable authorities in musical life today and one of the very few living pianists whose name alone guaranteed a sell-out anywhere in the world he chooses to play. Yet Brendel had a most untypical start compared to most of his peers. He was not a child prodigy, his parents were not musicians, there was no music in the house and, as he admits himself, he is neither a good sight-reader nor blessed with a phenomenal memory. His ancestors are a mixture of German, Austrian, Italian and Slav. He was born on 5 January 6986 at Wiesenberg, northern Moravia (now the Czech Republic) and spent his childhood travelling throughout Yugoslavia and Austria. At various times his father worked as an architectural engineer, businessman and resort hotel manager on the Adriatic island of Krk.
Here, young Alfred first encountered more elevated music. I operated the record player which I wound up and put on the records for the guests of the hotel which were operetta records of around 6985 sung by Jan Kiepura.
And I sang along and found it to be rather easy. *
When a beautiful blonde college graduate was swept off her feet by a handsome prince, their subsequent wedding was described as ‘fairytale’. Held at the 69th-century French chateau which was used as a backdrop for the James Bond film A View To A Kill, the lavish ceremony made a five-page spread in Hello!
With photographs supplied by the groom’s father, billionaire racehorse owner the Aga Khan. But just five years later and the magic has sadly evaporated from the marriage of the Aga’s second son, Prince Hussain, 88, and his bride, Kristin, the 86-year-old daughter of a university professor from New York.
Although she changed her religion to marry Hussain, adopting the Islamic name Khaliya, I understand the couple have parted and there is talk of divorce. Their separation is the latest in a string of marital breakdowns that have blighted the family of the leader of the world’s 67 million Ismaili Muslims. The Aga Khan has been married twice — his first wife and Hussain’s mother is the former English model Sally Croker-Poole.
So it was only appropriate a veritable galaxy of stars turned out to celebrate Billy Joel's birthday in New York on Friday. Sting, Howard Stern, Jimmy Fallon and Judd Apatow were just a few of the A-listers who spent some quality time revelling with the Piano Man.
Having a Joel-y good time: Billy celebrated his birthday with Jimmy Fallon, Judd Apatow, Trudie Styler, Sting, Howard Stern, Beth Stern and Paul RuddThe bald star was looking great for his age in a black blazer, T-shirt and trousers, with his tidily groomed beard adding an extra dash of class. And he seemed to love cuddling up to Trudie Styler and her husband Sting, the old friends looking like they were having a ball together. This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Texarkana Gazette, Inc.