New video: A Debussy winner, 90, is treated to his masterly quartet

New video: A Debussy winner, 90, is treated to his masterly quartet


norman lebrecht

February 28, 2014

Menahem Pressler got his break by winning a 1946 Debussy Competition in San Francisco.

For his 90th birthday, the Ebène Quartet sprang him a surprise performance of the Andantino movement. Just watch the expressions on Menahem’s face.

menahem ebene


  • Ken Grundy says:

    thanks for sharing such precious moments with us all!

  • ALBERT LANDA says:

    I can only say that I have never heard this movement played better. Exquisite. Incredible subtlety of the finest nuances and so very moving. I did feel a little sorry for the wonderful Menahem sitting there his, no doubt absolutely genuine emotional reactions as a sort of public performance.

  • Tsenoh Nam says:

    FanTAStic music!!!!

    If everyone played like that, the industry wouldn’t be in the state it is today. The current sonic suckage just doesn’t cut it.

  • Niels Veenhuijzen says:

    What better tribute to Menahem, the Olympian of Chamber Music! PS breathtaking performance of the quartet, what an ensemble!

  • Seeing Manahem’s beatific punim as he kvells over this rich performance, I recall the concerts we did together I as guest artist with the Fine Arts Quartet and how much we enjoyed each other’s company in our tours.