Nice to meet you, Herr Menahem Pressler!

Mr. Pressler at his debut with the Berliner
Philharmoniker on Jan 11th, 2014.
Credits: Berliner Phil.

The other day I was about to attend one of the concerts of the Season 2013/2014 of the Berliner Philharmoniker when I first read about a German pianist named Menahem Pressler. I felt particularly pleased with the Mozart’s Piano Concerto Mr. Pressler had chosen to his debut with the BPhil: Nr 17, in G major, KV 453. I am very found of this piece and to me it is like Mozart’s “ode to joy” since in all 3 movements one can listen to nothing but cheerful and happy notes. But my sequence of happy revelations was only beginning…

Semyon Bychkov was the conductor for the night. For the second part of the concert, Mr. Bychkov conducted a brilliant execution of the celebrated (Dimitri) Shostakovich’s 11th Symphony in G minor.

During the interval, both Mr. Pressler and Mr. Bychkov were separately interviewed. I learnt big time from Mr. Pressler’s stories… This was his debut with the BPhil, at the age 90. And at this very age, he is still as active as I could not imagine from someone else. He teaches in the US, plays and records with his Beaux Arts Trio, and above all, plays as soloist in the most prestigious temples of classical music: St Petersburg, Amsterdan, Paris, Berlin, among them.

In his interview he explained his “religious approach” when comes to “sacred” music written by the ones he consider “Gods” or at least “semi-Gods” – Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Ravel, Debussy. And the theory goes on: he feels himself like a Priest whose religion is Music and whose readings are written in scores, which he reads and reads and keeps on trying to interpret and teach others. Brilliant!

Beaux Arts Trio in concert.

Googling in search of more background information about Mr. Pressler, another happy revelation arose: the cellist of the Beaux Arts Trio is no other than the Brazilian Antonio Menezes! How come I have never connected those two dots? Unbelievable!

One of my greatest frustrations in life is that I will never get a chance to attend a live performance of the Ukrainian pianist Mr. Vladimir Horowitz (1903-1989). Mr. Horowitz is definitively among my top favourites, not only but especially when comes to Mozart. I felt particularly touched by their resemblance (look and feel). And I hope I can find my way to the audience of one of Mr. Pressler’s concerts soon!

The full concert is unfortunately only available for subscribers of the Digital Concert Hall but here you have a great glimpse of it direct from BPhil’s Youtube Channel. So, have a seat, find your best smile and enjoy it! ūüôā

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