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Menahem Pressler plays Beethoven, Schubert & Chopin

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven
Fryderyk Chopin
Franz Schubert
Performer Menahem Pressler
Period Classical
Catalogue Number BIS-1999 SACD
EAN 7318599919997
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Oct 2013
Total time 70'33

Supersonic, Pizzicato

”The recording is excellent and the playing is elegant…” Birmingham Post; ”… the sound is miraculous. Hard as I tried, I could not find any flaws in it. … The afterthought Chopin is nicely played, fine filler to a well-filled album full of wonderful surprises and first-rate performances. A must-have issue.”

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.
Choose format
  Ludwig van Beethoven
  Piano Sonata No.31 in A flat major, Op.110 (1821) 20'15
01 I. Moderato cantabile molto espressivo 7'26
02 II. Allegro molto 2'24
03 III. Adagio ma non troppo – Fuga (Allegro ma non troppo) 10'25
  Franz Schubert
  Piano Sonata No.21 in B flat major, D960 (1828) 44'52
04 I. Molto moderato 21'00
05 II. Andante sostenuto 10'21
06 III. Allegro vivace con delicatezza 4'41
07 IV. Allegro ma non troppo 8'50
  Fryderyk Chopin
08 Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op. posth. (1830) 4'06
  Album total 70'33
ComposerBeethoven, Ludwig van
Chopin, Fryderyk
Schubert, Franz
PianoPressler, Menahem

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