Master Classes with Menahem Pressler

Master Classes with Menahem Pressler

William Brown
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 09/01/2019
Format: Hardback 9 b&w illus., 226 music exx.
ISBN: 978-0-253-04292-7
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Menahem Pressler is a world-renowned piano soloist, master class teacher, and member of the acclaimed Beaux Arts Trio. In this companion to his first book, Menahem Pressler: Artistry in Piano Teaching, Pressler's former student William Brown brings together Pressler's teachings on an additional 37 piano masterworks by Johann Sebastian Bach, Samuel Barber, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Frédéric Chopin, Claude Debussy, George Frideric Handel, Franz Joseph Haydn, Franz Liszt, Felix Mendelssohn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Sergei Prokofiev, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Maurice Ravel, Franz Schubert, and Robert Schumann. With over 200 musical examples and measure-by-measure lessons on masterpieces of the piano repertoire as well as instructions on phrasing, fingering, imagery, dynamic contrasts, pianistic touches, articulation, and practice drills, pianists of all levels will benefit from Pressler's expertise.

Author Bio

William Brown is Professor Emeritus of Music and Provost Emeritus at Southwest Baptist University. He earned two graduate performance degrees while studying with Menahem Pressler at Indiana University and is the author of Menahem Pressler: Artistry in Piano Teaching.



Menahem Pressler is widely regarded as one of the premiere musicians in the world, having performed thousands of concerts in the world's great halls as the pianist of the Beaux Arts Trio, and having established himself as one of the world's handful of top master teachers. . . . This manuscript contains his technical and musical ideas on a wide range of masterpieces from the solo piano repertoire, spanning Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary works. As a treasury of his thoughts on music, it is absolutely invaluable to professional performers and piano teachers.


 (Peter Miyamoto, Concert Pianist and Professor, University of Missouri)


Dr. Brown has once again provided a valuable contribution to serious pianists seeking insights into some of the important works for piano, as seen through the experienced lens of the great pianist and legendary teacher Menahem Pressler.


 (Joel M. Harrison, President and Artistic Director of the American Pianists Association)

"Pressler is insightful and amusing in equal doses, as lionised astutely by his former student, William Brown."


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Table of Contents

A Few Words Before


A Brief Biography

Master Classes and Lessons

Interlude I. Master Classes

1. Johann Sebastian Bach

Partita No. 6 in E Minor, BWV 830

2. Samuel Barber

Sonata, Op. 26

Interlude II. Page Turners

3. Ludwig van Beethoven

Thirty-Two Variations in C Minor, WoO 80

Piano Sonata in A-flat Major, Op. 26

Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 31, No. 3

Piano Sonata in C Major, Op. 53, Waldstein

Piano Sonata in A-flat Major, Op. 110

4. Johannes Brahms

Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Op. 35, Bk. 1

Klavierstücke, Op. 76

Intermezzo in A Major, Op. 118, No. 2

Interlude III. Poor Pianos

5. Frédéric Chopin

Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante, Op. 22

Deux Nocturnes, Op. 27

Scherzo No. 3 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 39

Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 52

Berceuse, Op. 57

Barcarolle, Op. 60

Interlude IV. Hotel Stories

6. Claude Debussy

Reflets dans l'eau, from Images, Book 1

Poisson d'or, from Images, Book II

7. George Frideric Handel

Chaconne in G Major, HWV 442

Interlude V. Missed Concerts

8. Franz Joseph Haydn

Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, HOB. XVI:52, Mvt. 1

9. Franz Liszt

Grandes Études de Paganini, S. 141

Piano Sonata in B Minor, S. 178

Interlude VI. Funny Stories

10. Felix Mendelssohn

Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 14

11. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, K. 281

Piano Concerto in C Minor, K. 491

Piano Sonata in D Major, K. 576

Interlude VII. Stories about Pianists

12. Serge Prokofiev

Piano Sonata No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 29

13. Sergei Rachmaninoff

Étude-Tableau in A Minor, Op. 39, No. 6

Interlude VIII. Honorary Citizenship in Magdeburg, Germany

14. Maurice Ravel



Interlude IX. Through Hell and Back

15. Franz Schubert

Sonata in A minor, D. 784, Op. 143

Sonata in A minor, D. 845, Op. 42

Impromptus, D. 899, Op. 90

Interlude X. A New Love

16. Robert Schumann

Piano Sonata No. 1 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 11, Grosse Sonate

Faschingschwank aus Wien, Op. 26

Appendix A. Menahem Pressler's Musical Ancestry

Appendix B. Tributes from Former Students and Other Musicians


Index of Compositions

Index of Names and Concepts