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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 10, 2006

Tsachor Will Play Music 'Over the Centuries' in Jan. 22 Faculty Recital

Uriel Tsachor, a pianist who was hailed by the New York Times for his "glittering brilliance," will present a University of Iowa faculty recital at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Tsachor's recital will be free and open to the public.

The first half of the recital, comprising four works, will be titled "A Suite over the Centuries." The four works on this portion of the program will be Cesar Franck's "Prelude, Choral and Fugue"; Ravel's well known "Pavane pour une Infante Defunte" (Pavanne for a dead princess); Anton von Webern's "Im Tempo eines Menuetts -- Klavierstueck" (Piano piece in the tempo of a minuet); and Mozart's "Eine kleine Gigue" (A little gigue), K574.

Following intermission, Tsachor will play Brahms' Sonata in F minor, op. 5.

Tsachor explained the idea behind the first portion of the program. "Many romantic and contemporary composers have used Baroque forms, while composing in their own idiomatic language," he said. "I decided to combine several composers' works to create my own suite, following the general outline of the Baroque suite, opening with a prelude and ending with a gigue, just like most Baroque suites.

"I believe the choice of pieces creates an interesting panoramic musical overview of what was possible with these forms, and also it creates a balance between slow and fast movements and brooding and lighthearted ones. There are also contrasts in the pianistic and harmonic language of the pieces."

Tsachor described the individual pieces of his suite: "The Franck work, 'Prelude, Chorale and Fugue' is a late, mature work written in 1884. The three parts are all derived from a small motivic cell and build up to a huge musical climax at the end.

"Ravel's Pavane, composed in 1899, constitutes the slow dance of the 'Suite.' It is a wonderfully lyrical and brooding piece colored with Ravel's earlier impressionistic language.

"Webern's 'Klavierstueck' from 1925 is a vivacious minuet composed in a strict 12-tone language and creates a great balancing contrast to the lyricism of the preceding pieces.

"The suite ends with Mozart's biting and sardonic, rarely played Gigue, composed in 1788."

Brahms' F-minor Sonata was written in 1853, when the composer was 20 years old. Tsachor described it as "a veritable symphony for the piano. It is Brahms' largest solo piano work, with five movements of great musical contrasts. Nevertheless, there are quite a few thematic connections among the movements. The piano writing is very challenging, calling for great dramatic dynamic contrasts and Brahms' typical, orchestral style of writing for the piano."

Uriel Tsachor joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in the fall of 1988. He has won critical acclaim for his performances worldwide. The critic of the Sueddeutsche Zeiting in Munich called him "a musician who pursues piano playing as a vehicle for musical poetry."

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 22 recordings for the EMI, Musical Heritage Society, PHONIC, DIVOX, Olympia, CALLIOPE and EMS labels. This past summer Tsachor recorded with Andrew Hardy eight sonatas dedicated to Ysaye, the great Belgian violinist. This project was sponsored by a major grant from the Belgian government and the four-CD set was released in November 2005 on the Musique en Wallonie label.

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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