By William Brown
As soloist, grasp type instructor, and pianist of the world-renowned Beaux Arts Trio, Menahem Pressler can boast of 4 Grammy nominations, 3 honorary doctorates, greater than eighty recordings, and lifelong fulfillment awards awarded via France, Germany, and Israel. Former Pressler pupil William Brown strains the master's pianistic improvement via Rudiakov, Kestenberg, Vengerova, Casadesus, Petri, and Steuermann, mixing thoughts and traditions derived from Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, and J. S. Bach.
Brown offers Pressler's method of functionality and instructing, together with technical workouts, rules of leisure and overall physique involvement, and pictures to lead the pianist's creativity towards expressive interpretation. Insights from the author's personal classes, interviews with Pressler, and reminiscences of greater than a hundred Pressler scholars from the prior 50 years are accumulated during this textual content. Measure-by-measure classes on 23 piano masterworks by way of, between others, Bach, Bartók, Debussy, and Ravel in addition to transcriptions of Pressler's fingerings, hand redistributions, practising directions, musical rankings, and grasp category performances are included.
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Additional info for Menahem Pressler : artistry in piano teaching
Ben Greenhaus) In his preparation, Pressler had learned all but one, the Hommage à Haydn, of the required Debussy repertoire. He had not been able to obtain a score previously and finally found one in New York, just before boarding the train for his three-day trip to San Francisco. He taught himself the piece by sight during the train ride and arrived the day before the competition, then competed against sixty-four contestants. At great surprise to himself and his teacher, he won the coveted Debussy Prize, receiving $1,000 and many engagements as a result.
Many years later, in 2005, Pressler returned to Germany to receive the Deutsche Bundesverdienstkreuz (Cross of Merit), which was presented to him in Magdeburg. “They had everything,” he says of the event. “They even had a picture of my father’s store which was destroyed. That was unbelievable to me. And [the presentation] was read by the prime minister [Dr. Wolfgang Böhmer] of the province. ” While in Trieste, Pressler studied with a Mr. Rossi, who recognized Pressler’s talent and offered him lessons at no cost.
It was hot, and there was no air conditioning. Now, if you know the Schoenberg Concerto, that is very difficult listening. It’s even more difficult playing, but it’s very difficult listening. So, Juilliard was hot like hell. Above, somebody practiced the organ, so there came the sound of the organ into the room. And here Steuermann was emoting with the Concerto, very deeply felt Concerto. ” And I remember running away. I never told him that, because he was a difficult and very wonderful man. EDWARD STEUERMANN Pressler began taking lessons from Steuermann at the Juilliard School on Claremont Avenue and 122nd Street in New York City.