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…’
Menahem Pressler is a living legend of the piano. A founding member of the famed Beaux Arts Trio, Pressler's career was launched in 1946 when he won first prize at the Debussy International Piano Competition. After a working as a soloist for a decade, he then became one of the world's most famous chamber musicians, playing with the Beaux Arts Trio for 53 years. This solo album celebrates Pressler's 90th birthday with a collection of music from the Viennese Classical tradition. It pairs Schubert's Piano Sonata No.18 with Beethoven's Bagatelles and a remarkably poignant A minor Rondo by Mozart. The music here encompasses the full range of emotions. Pressler has honed his sonority to the point where it resembles a vocal timbre. His sound is infinitely warm, pure and tender, like a fine vintage wine. This disc is a true event, giving listeners the sensation of being transported back to a lost era.
Founded 60 years ago by Menahem Pressler, Daniel Guilet and Bernard Greenhouse, the Beaux Arts Trio performed and recorded exclusively for Philips Classics until 1995. Celebrated for their outstanding chamber-music qualities, the Beaux Arts are one of the greatest ensembles in the history of recorded music. This special 60CD box set includes their extensive discography on Philips Classics and encompasses almost the entire piano trio literature.