Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Pianist This Writer Had Forgotten About(!)...

About a week ago, a family member brought up the name of a musician, in general conversation, which caused a severe case of personal embarrassment  to me and my purported powers of retention.
The name - Menahem Pressler. Within a second or two, I clapped a hand to my forehead (metaphorically, that is) and gave myself a solid spate of scolding. I don't believe that I have ever included Pressler as a subject of one of my almost 680 blogs, for which I apologize.
Among his many accomplishments is  his being a founding portion of the acclaimed Beaux Arts Trio, which began back in 1955, and performed for the final time in  2008  .
He is an acknowledged pedagogue, having  won the hearts and minds of many  young people making a bid to enter the field.
Above all, however, is the level of attainment having been realized while in his teens, and which  has been maintained to this day;  a reality  truly remarkable.   Menahem Pressler is entering his 93rd  year.
Picture a gentleman coming on stage with a cane, often supported by someone in his entourage, and slowly lowering himself onto the bench or chair. Of course, the physical technique has been diminished, and he appears a bit smaller now.
But the magic remains. Within the narrowing dimensions of a world-class repertoire, the message is still given to his listener.
Years ago, I had pretty well been of self-assurance that Artur Rubinstein, who gave his final recital at age 89, would have reached an age  not to be surpassed,  at such a level.
However, even though Pressler never reached the heights of a Rubinstein, he was and continues to be among the world's more distinguished  musicians - at age 92.
Imagine - escape as a youngster  from Nazi Germany's Night of Broken Glass in 1938, with a number of his family engulfed by the Holocaust, to his present place as a patrician among fellow musicians -
My apologies to a gentleman I promise not to forget, a second time...

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