The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us
 
CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: peter-alexander@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Uriel Tsachor is pronounced YOU-ree-ehl tsa-KHORE. Czerny is pronounced CHAIR-nee.

Pianist Tsachor will play unusual versions of standard piano pieces Oct. 4

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Pianist Uriel Tsachor, a member of the faculty of the University of Iowa School of Music, will continue an established preference for unusual or little-known versions of the standard repertoire when he presents a free recital at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The program will consist of works by composers from the most standard Classic and Romantic piano repertoire: Mozart, Beethoven and Schumann. But as is characteristic of Tsachor's recitals on the UI campus, it will place familiar versions of pieces alongside works that are being heard in distinctly non-standard versions.

Tsachor will open his recital with a straightforward reading of Mozart's Adagio in B minor, K. 540, a movement that may have been planned as the slow movement of a sonata that Mozart never completed. It will be followed by Beethoven's Sonata in F-sharp major, op. 78. Though this is not the most familiar of Beethoven's sonatas, it too will be played in its usual form.

More Beethoven will follow, but not a work that is usually heard on solo piano recitals: the first movement of Beethoven's A-minor Violin Sonata op. 47 -- known as the "Kreutzer" Sonata -- in an arrangement for piano that was made by Beethoven's pupil, Carl Czerny.

Concluding the program and forming its entire second half will be Robert Schumann's Symphonic Etudes, op. 13. This again is a standard piece from the piano repertoire, but Tsachor will use the first edition, published in 1834, rather than the 1852 third edition, which most pianists use. And he will add to that version of the piece five variations that were not published until after Schumann's death.

Common to all pieces on the program is a kind of historical interest. Beethoven's Sonata in F-sharp major is the composer's only sonata -- indeed his only major work -- in that key. It is unusual in Beethoven's output in other ways as well: it has only two movements, both in fast tempo, and it is melodic in a way that is uncharacteristic of late Beethoven. And considering these factors, it is especially interesting that Beethoven told several acquaintances that this was his favorite of his piano sonatas.

Czerny's arrangement of the "Kreutzer" Sonata reflects a 19th-century practice of arranging music from other media for solo piano. In an era before recordings, these arrangements made it possible for musicians to play and become familiar with pieces they might never hear performed, including chamber music, symphonies and operas. Conceived for individual use, these arrangements have rarely been played in concert, but a performance helps open a door into the everyday musical life of the period.

The individual movements of Czerny's arrangement of the Kreutzer Sonata were published separately in the years 1802-04. Since Czerny was working closely with Beethoven, it is generally assumed that these arrangements had the composer's approval. Tsachor will be playing from a copy of the original edition, which has not been reprinted in modern times.

The history of Schumann's Symphonic Etudes is complex. It was originally published in 1834 as a theme and 12 etude-variations. The composition underwent two revisions, the second of them in 1852, near the end of Schumann's life. The composer was not mentally sound at this time and it is impossible to know how much of that revision was accomplished by Schumann, how much by his wife, Clara, and how much by his friend Brahms. Nevertheless, as the final version of the work, it has been the one most often played.

Tsachor, however, finds the original version to be more convincing. "To me, it is the most Schuman-esque," he said. "Schumann often revised his pieces following suggestions from Clara, his pianist/composer wife -- and not always for the best."

To the original version, Tsachor will add five variations that were published in the 1860s --after Schumann's death -- in a complete edition of the composer's works that was edited by Brahms. These lyrical variations, which contrast with the more complex, symphonic style of the etudes, were written before the first edition but removed before publication.

"The original manuscript, including the variations, has been lost," Tsachor explained. "My aim is to put the variations back in where they originally were, but it's not possible to be certain. But I think they make a nice contrast with the etudes that are more familiar to pianists."

Uriel Tsachor joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in the fall of 1988. The first prize-winner of the Bosendorfer Empire International Competition in 1986, the second prize-winner of the Busoni Competition in 1985 and a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition in 1983, he is a graduate of the Rubin Academy in Tel-Aviv, Israel, and the Juilliard School in New York. He has performed as a soloist in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, New York, Chicago, Vienna, Paris, and other cities around the world.

Tsachor has performed with the Israel Philharmonic by invitation from Zubin Mehta. He has also appeared as soloist with the New York City Symphony, the Teatro La Fenice Symphony in Venice and the National Orchestra of Belgium, among others. He has performed both live and in recordings for radio and television stations in Israel, Europe and the United States, and he has made recordings for the EMI, Musical Heritage Society, PHONIC, DIVOX, Olympia and EMS labels.

9/19/97