CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
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
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
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.