Who would believe that I, at 5' 9" inches in stocking feet (or 5'9½" when I really stand up straight) would have a crush on an 84-year old very short man who happens to be a world-renowned pianist. The closest I have been to this man is about the 10th row center of a concert hall, but his irresistible smile, the devilish glint in his eye as he peers at his cellist and violinist during their performances, his boundless energy and his magnificent talent have won my heart.
Menahem Pressler is a founding member and the pianist of the Beaux Arts Trio which is celebrating fifty years of performance this summer and which will play its last concert at the Tanglewood Music Festival in western Massachusetts in July. With his (much) younger colleagues, Daniel Hope, violinist, and Antonio Meneses, cellist, the Trio produces chamber music that I can only describe as celestial. At least it makes me feel like I am in heaven.
Last night I attended one of their last performances as a group, after attending perhaps ten Beaux Arts Trio concerts over the years, not-to-mention listening to my stack of their CD's many, many times.
The audience leapt to their feet at the concert's "end." They cheered again after each of three encores. I was exhilarated and exhausted. I think Menahem Pressler could have kept on going.
And I hope he does.