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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 14, 2006

Uriel Tsachor Will Play Music Of Robert Schumann Sept. 30

Uriel Tsachor, pianist and member of the University of Iowa School of Music faculty, will perform two major works by Robert Schumann on a free UI recital at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

"In honor of the 150th anniversary of the death of Robert Schumann, I decided to perform two major works of his early period, the Fantasy in C Major, op. 17, and the Sonata in F minor, op. 14," Tsachor said.

"Both works belong to the early period when Schumann composed very large scale, stormy and passionate piano works -- and this description certainly fits these two works," he explained.

"They are both works based on essentially one motif -- a descending five-note line that Schumann claimed had been used and composed by Clara Wieck, who was later to be his wife. This statement has not been substantiated by research or by observations of Clara's own compositions, but it is clear that Schumann assigned this motif as representing the persona of Clara in his compositions, making these scores vehicles for his emotional turbulence at the time."

Both works were composed in 1836. Clara had been Schumann's student, but at the time they were written, her father had forbidden their marriage or any contact between them. It was not until Clara turned 21 in 1840 and sued in court for the right to marry that she and Schumann became husband and wife.

Schumann wrote Clara about the Fantasy that "The first movement is probably the most passionate I have ever written -- a deep lamentation for you." About the sonata, he wrote, "This is my darkest period ... because I am completely separated from Clara."

Tsachor will perform the original five-movement version of the Sonata containing a second Scherzo movement that is usually omitted.

Tsachor joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in the fall of 1988. A Steinway artist, he was a winner of the Boesendorfer Empire International Competition in 1986 and the Busoni Competition in 1985, and a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition in 1983. Munich's Sueddeutsche Zeitung described him as "A musician who pursues piano playing as a vehicle for musical poetry." See:

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

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