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Menahem Pressler plays Beethoven, Schubert & Chopin

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Catalogue numberBIS-SACD-1999
Release date2013-10-10
Discs1
Orig. sample rate96000Hz

Turning 90 in December 2013, Menahem Pressler was the pianist of the legendary Beaux Arts Trio for almost 55 years, and continues to enjoy a blossoming career as soloist and recitalist, while remaining as committed to teaching as ever.

For the greater part of his life, Pressler has lived with the two great sonatas recorded here, and has recounted how he studied Beethoven’s Sonata in A flat major, Op.110 as a young man after having fled Nazi Germany for Israel in 1939: ‘I didn't really understand many of the things that I understand now. I only understood the enormous emotional... tearing, tearing on my insides... I felt the beauty of that slow movement, so overwhelming.’

In another context he has discussed the piece in the context of Schubert’s final work for the piano, the Sonata in B flat major: ‘Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 110 illustrates idealism in the first movement, hedonism in the second and regret and pain in the last movement from which two fugues emerge triumphantly, as if saying, “Yes, life is worth living” – and this is what I feel.

This is to be considered alongside Schubert’s last sonata D.960, which explores the emotions of a man who knows he has a limited time to live, and in which the slow movement resonates like a funeral march whilst also showing happiness and peace of mind.’

As an epilogue to these two pillars of the piano literature, Menahem Pressler has chosen to play a particular favourite of his, a work that he often performs at the end of his recitals: Chopin’s brief but exquisite Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op. posth., composed in 1830 – only two years after Schubert’s Sonata – with a dedication to the composer’s sister.
 
Extra material for download
 
 
  Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van
  Piano Sonata No.31 in A flat major, Op.110 (1821) 20:34
01 I. Moderato cantabile molto espressivo 07:28 $ 1.79 USD
02 II. Allegro molto 02:23 $ 0.57 USD
03 III. Adagio ma non troppo – Fuga (Allegro ma non troppo) 10:43 $ 2.57 USD
 
 
  Composer: Schubert, Franz
  Piano Sonata No.21 in B flat major, D960 (1828) 45:20
04 I. Molto moderato 21:11 $ 5.08 USD
05 II. Andante sostenuto 10:25 $ 2.50 USD
06 III. Allegro vivace con delicatezza 04:42 $ 1.13 USD
07 IV. Allegro ma non troppo 09:02 $ 2.17 USD
 
 
  Composer: Chopin, Fryderyk
  Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op. posth. (1830)
08 Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op. posth. (1830) 04:37 $ 1.11 USD
 
  Album total 01:10:31
ComposerBeethoven, Ludwig van
Chopin, Fryderyk
Schubert, Franz
PianoPressler, Menahem

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