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MOZART // Piano sonatas KV331, 570 & 576

Menahem Pressler,

‘It’s a genuine mission to fulfil the task of recording the complete Mozart sonatas.’

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A mission that constantly has me asking questions of myself, and which sometimes has me feeling quite dizzy: can I do it? Am I right to? And yet I feel a literal attraction for these sonatas. They’re an unending source of wonder to me. It’s a joy to record them, and even an inner necessity.
This is the pianist Menahem Pressler’s second disc for La Dolce Volta, recorded at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris in September 2014. Here we meet a Mozart bathed in total serenity, as if freed from all earthly contingencies and tensions, gently singing of his state of grace, with a wonderfully tender touch.

An interpretation deeply moving in its very simplicity, its sheer tranquil poetry, brimming with love and affection.

Here is a miraculous disc by a humble servant of music at the peak of his inspiration.


  • Piano Sonata no.11 in A major, K331 – Theme and Variations: Andante grazioso 15’11
  • Piano Sonata no.11 in A major, K331 – Menuetto 6’58
  • Piano Sonata no.11 in A major, K3311 – Alla Turca : Allegretto 3’43
  • Piano Sonata no.17 B flat major K570 – Allegro 6’41
  • Piano Sonata no.17 B flat major K570 – Adagio 8’13
  • Piano Sonata no.17 B flat major K570 – Allegretto 3’54
  • Piano Sonata no.18 in D major, K576 – Allegro 5’38
  • Piano Sonata no.18 in D major, K576 – Adagio 6’14
  • Piano Sonata no.18 in D major, K576 – Allegretto 4’45



“infinitely affecting … this lavishly produced recording, the first in a promised series of the complete Mozart piano sonatas, is one to be treasured.”

« SUPERB RECORDING » - Classical Music Magazine

“With an enviable tone and command, the 90-year-old Pressler is as inspired an artist as ever. This latest solo recording celebrates an ineffable love of Mozart: every line is cherished, lovingly phrased at relaxed tempi that allow the music to breathe … Superb recording.”


“This thrusting and exploratory leader of the Beaux Arts Trio, one of the most eminent groups in the second half of the last century, probably has – at 92 – an intellectual and emotional grasp of music second to none … These performances…still have the power to uphold the sheer wondrousness of the music. Thanks to Menahem Pressler.”


Born in Magdeburg on 16 December 1923, Menahem Pressler fled Nazi Germany in 1938. It was in Israel, where he was raised, that he received most of his training, with the pianists Eliahu Rudiakov and Leo Kestenberg, a pupil of Ferruccio Busoni, followed by lessons with Eduard Steuermann, also a Busoni disciple, in the United States. His musical learning and his profound knowledge of the piano and chamber music have earned him an undisputed reputation.

Menahem Pressler’s international fame began to develop after he won first prize at the Debussy Piano Competition in San Francisco in 1946, immediately followed by his American debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Eugene Ormandy. In 1955, the Berkshire Music Festival witnessed the debut of the Beaux Arts Trio, which was to become a legendary group, acclaimed all over the world for fifty-three years.

He gives masterclasses in Germany, France, Canada, Argentina and Brazil, and is a jury member at the Santander, Van Cliburn and Queen Elisabeth competitions. Appointed Distinguished Professor by Indiana University in Bloomington, Menahem Pressler is now an honorary professor there. In 1998 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Gramophone magazine and an Ehrenurkunde award from German music critics to mark forty years spent in the service of music. In May 2000 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Recently, the French government decorated him with the rank of Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et Lettres, while the German government awarded him the Deutsches Bundesverdienstkreuz in recognition of his entire career and conferred German citizenship on him in September 2012.

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