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For more than 50 years, Menahem Pressler was the driving force of the legendary Beaux Arts Trio, giving 6.000 performances until the trio stopped concertizing in 2009. Menahem Pressler is now returning to a solo career.
During this recital filmed at Paris Cité de la Musique 2011, Menahem Pressler plays two of the most imposing works in the piano repertoire: Beethoven s penultimate sonata and Schubert s last sonata which both require unusual emotional involvement from the performer.
Menahem Pressler is the last representative of a pianistic tradition directly connected with the great German and French piano schools: he studied with several pupils of the illustrious Ferruccio Busoni but also received valuable advice from Robert Casadesus or Paul Loyonnet who opened the world of Ravel and Debussy to him.
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.31 in A flat Major, Op. 110
Chopin: Mazurka Op. 7 Nos.1 & 3, Mazurka Op. 17 No.4, Nocturne No.20 in C sharp minor
Schubert: Piano Sonata in B flat Major D.960
His programme offers radiant late Beethoven, well-sprung Chopin, refulgent Debussy and an interpretation of the Schubert B flat Sonata that twists the gut and lingers in the heart. Playing of such humility, warmth and purity is eminently cherishable. --Jessica Duchen, BBC Music Magazine
Beautifully and simply filmed, this DVD is a classic tribute to a great artist still active in the autumn of his career --Bryce Morrison, Gramophone
This live solo recital at the age of 88 shows him in complete command of his powers. His concentration, fine ear for detail and perfect balances, strong melodic inflection, spontaneity and clear projection of form should serve as models for pianists of all ages. The camerawork is superb throughout, always at the right place at the right time, allowing the viewer to marvel at how some wonderful sounds are achieved with such little effort…There are many DVDs of great pianists available, but this one is special because it shows us Pressler in a new light, in challenging solo repertoire. --Charles Timbrell, International Record Review