As a musician ages, he gains valuable experience. But, Beaux Arts founding member Menahem Pressler says, one mustn’t place too much emphasis on age.
“In music itself, in expressing those ideas, you don’t hear actually the differences in age. Because that’s what makes the music so strong and what keeps the music alive after two hundred and some years; obviously that music doesn’t show any age and therefore the playing of it shouldn’t show any age.”
Aging gracefully, pianist Pressler, shows only a very slight sign of slowing fingers. Joined tonight by cellist Antonio Meneses, and British violinist Daniel Hope, both decades younger, Pressler says it’s not so much his hands that sometime trouble him, but his busy concert schedule.
“There is no difference between the playing and the desire to play between any of the three of us. There may be that we run after a plane or to a gate I will be the one who’s running much slower than the two others, but not in music.”
Tonight’s program is a moody mix of Beethoven, Mendelssohn and the solemn, but yet strangely cheerful, Piano Trio number two in e minor by Shostakovich.
“The anguish and the pain of our time expressed in the most direct and most personal way.”
Like the final movement of the Shostakovich, music so inspired by the vigorous dances of eastern European Jews, Pressler believes his continued spirit hails from a higher hall.
“Because that I have been given by God the opportunity still to have the strength and the endurance and the fingers and the head and the desire to perform, is wonderful.”
Pianist Menahem Pressler - eighty-two years young, and still going strong.
The Beaux Arts Trio performs in the Music Recital Hall (Capistrano Hall) at Sacramento State on Monday, April 24th at 8 p.m. For ticket information, call (916) 278-4323.