Menahem Pressler compared to Wilhelm Kempff in recent Vienna performance

Pressler enjoys a moment outside the hall.

Pressler enjoys a moment outside the hall.

In an extraordinary concert at the end of January, 89-year-old Distinguished Professor Menahem Pressler performed a solo recital of Schubert and Kurtag at the Konzerthaus in Vienna to a sold-out audience as a replacement for Mitsuko Uchida, who unexpectedly canceled her recital.

Pressler’s playing was described by Die Presse’s Wilhelm Sinkovicz as having “struck a tone that was long believed lost already, a tone we perhaps last heard from Wilhelm Kempff.”

Sinkovicz continued to write that Viennese audiences had witnessed the comeback of Horowitz at 84 and Horczowski at 100 and that the evening’s performance was in the same league. Not surprisingly, the audience rose as one to offer a prolonged standing ovation.

On the same tour, Pressler joined the Emerson Quartet in a performance of Mozart’s Piano Quartet in E-Flat Major to a packed house at the Saltzburg Mozarteum. In response to the performance, Saltzburger Nachrichten critic Karl Harb said that, in Pressler’s hands, “the music drips from the keys in crystalline beauty, forms phrases of natural grace, all simple and honest.”

Enjoy pictures of the recent performances:

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