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Release: Sept. 7, 2001

(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Uriel Tsachor is pronounced OO-ree-ell tsah-KHOR.)

Pianist Tsachor to play music of Schubert, Schumann Sept. 22

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Pianist Uriel Tsachor will play music by two of the most esteemed pianist-composers of the Romantic period, Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert, on a University of Iowa faculty recital, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

His recital will be free and open to the public.

Tsachor will play two works by each composer: Schumann's Arabeske in C Major op. 18 and Humoreske in B flat Major op. 20; and Schubert's Sonata in E Minor, D. 566, and the "Wanderer" Fantasy in C Major, D. 760.

The solo recital will be Tsachor's second performance on the UI campus in only a few days: on Wednesday, Sept. 19, he will be the soloist for a performance of Beethoven's "Emperor" Piano Concerto with the University Symphony, in an 8 p.m. free concert conducted by William LaRue Jones.

Tsachor recently discussed the program for his solo recital. "The two Schumann works present one huge contrast with each other," he said. "On one hand, the Arabeske is a very popular, poised piece. It has one basic mood that can be described as dreamy, intimate and ethereal, with very little contrast presented in this classical Rondo-shaped piece.

"The Humoreske, on the other hand is rarely performed, much longer and kaleidoscopic in its constant and quicksilver changes of moods. They range from the intimate to the violently explosive in an unpredictable order that defies any classical analysis.

"Schumann wrote that while composing the Humoreske he was 'crying, dreaming laughing, cursing and all other imaginable forms of expression.' The challenge for the performer is in both conquering highly virtuoso writing for the keyboard and in being able to move swiftly from one state of mind to the next."

Tsachor finds a similar contrast between the two Schubert pieces. "The early sonata in
E-Minor written in 1816, is an introverted and melancholy type of a piece, with typical Schubertean lyricism prevailing throughout" he said. "It is one of the so-called 'incomplete' sonatas, in the fact that it doesn't have a proper finale movement. Thus, it is customary to perform only the first two movements of this relatively obscure sonata.

"In contrast, the "Wanderer" Fantasy is one of the staples of the piano literature, full of virtuosity that stretches any pianist's abilities to the limit. The closest image that comes to mind while playing it is to compare playing it to conquering a climb on Mt. Everest."

Schubert wrote the Fantasy in 1822, at the beginning of a series of major piano works including his final eight piano sonatas. This was also a period of stylistic exploration and experimentation for the composer. In this spirit, the Fantasy is an unusual structure of four movements that are freer than a sonata, but still linked together by the use of similar rhythms. The highly elaborate slow movement is based on the composer's song "The Wanderer," from which the Fantasy takes its nickname. The finale combines a recapitulation of elements of the first movement with fugato writing

While preparing the recital, Tsachor noted a musical relationship between the recurring rhythmic figure of the Fantasy and the E-minor Sonata. He explained, "After programming these two pieces, I realized that there is a motivic connection between the second movement of the sonata and the Fantasy, in that both are based on the same famed Schubertean rhythmic motive of the quarter note followed by two eighth notes."

Tsachor joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in the fall of 1988. A Steinway artist, Tsachor was a winner of the Bosendorfer Empire International Competition in 1986 and 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 18 recordings for the EMI, Musical Heritage Society, PHONIC, DIVOX, Olympia and EMS labels. In November 1999 the Paris-based label CALLIOPE released a two-CD set of the complete violin and piano sonatas and arrangements by Brahms, featuring Tsachor and violinist Andrew Hardy.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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