FLASHBACK FRIDAY | Beaux Arts Trio Performs Ravel's Piano Trio

"I can only say that this performance, hearing it years later, gives me great pleasure," legendary pianist Menahem Pressler this week told The Violin Channel

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The Beaux Arts Trio in an undated photo: violinist Isidore Cohen, pianist Menahem Pressler, and cellist Bernard Greenhouse. (Photo Credit: Arje Plas / Courtesy of Decca)

The acclaimed Beaux Arts Trio was active for over half a century, between 1955 and 2008. The trio was originally made up of Daniel Guillet (violin), Bernard Greenhouse (cello), and Menahem Pressler (piano). By the time of this 1987 performance, violinist Isidore Cohen had replaced Guillet.

This historic performance of Maurice Ravel's Piano Trio was recorded as a BBC TV broadcast from the Signet Library, in Edinburgh.

Israeli-American pianist Menahem Pressler, now 97, is the only surviving member of the trio. He was born in Germany, but he and his family fled the Nazi regime following Kristallnacht in 1939. Pressler has had a prolific career, gaining six Grammy nominations, three honorary doctorates, and making many excellent recordings. The longevity of his career is also remarkable: he made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic in 2014 at the age of 90.

"Of course it is wonderful to be able to see and hear this performance again after all these years," Mr Pressler told the Violin Channel.

"It was a very busy time when we made many, many recordings and a breathtaking number of concerts every year. As I listen to my two colleagues, I admire them all over again and feel so lucky to have played with them. We fought tooth and nail during rehearsals in the effort to achieve our musical goals and we were rarely satisfied with a performance, always hoping to do better."

 

 

The Beaux Arts Trio made its debut in 1955 and its final concert was in Lucerne, Switzerland in September 2008.

Mr Pressler performed as pianist with the trio for its entire 55 years. Later members to join included violinists Ida Kavafian, Yung Uck Kim and Daniel Hope and cellists Peter Wiley and Antonio Meneses.