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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 29, 2003

Pianist Uriel Tsachor Opens Faculty Recital Series

Uriel Tsachor will open the University of Iowa faculty recital series for 2003-04 with a solo piano recital at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Tsachor's recital, featuring three Beethoven piano sonatas, will be free and open to the public.

After opening the program with Mozart's Adagio in B Minor, K.540, Tsachor will turn his attention to Beethoven, playing the Sonata No. 27 in E Minor, op. 90; the Sonata No. 24 in F sharp major, op. 78; and the Sonata No. 21 in C major, op. 53, well known to the classical music public as the "Waldstein" Sonata.

Mozart's Adagio is one of the composer's late works. Initially intended as the slow movement of a sonata that was never finished, it remains a separate, unconnected movement. "This movement is very unusual for Mozart for its strong chromaticism and distant modulations," Tsachor said.

The Sonata in E minor is considered the first piano sonata of Beethoven's late years. It is profoundly different from most of the composer's earlier sonatas. For one thing, it has only two movements, rather than the more conventional three or four, and neither of those corresponds to the characteristic classical style and formal models of the earlier sonata movements.

After a highly dramatic first movement, the second movement is based largely on a single, flowing melody that recurs, with minor variations, throughout the movement. In lingering over a single, lyrical melody and avoiding any kind of motivic development, this movement is "more like Schubert would have done," Tsachor said.

The Sonata in F-sharp Major is said to have been Beethoven's favorite piano sonata. Like the E-minor Sonata, it has only two movements: a lyrical first movement and a scherzo in a sardonic mood.

The "Waldstein" takes it name from Count Waldstein, a nobleman from Bonn who was one of Beethoven's first patrons. When Beethoven left Bonn to study in Vienna, Waldstein famously wrote in the young composer's memory book that he should "receive the spirit of Mozart from Haydn's hands." Beethoven remembered Waldstein several years later with the dedication of the C-major Sonata.

Written in 1803-04 at the height of Beethoven's so-called "heroic" period, the "Waldstein" Sonata was longer and more dramatic than the typical piano sonata of the time. "This sonata is a revolutionary piece in its dimensions and dramatic sweep," Tsachor said. "Its virtuoso technical demands, and the 'modern' language, at times bordering on the percussive usage of the instrument, also place it far ahead of the music other composers were writing at this time."

Uriel 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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