Noticed by the violinist Isaac Stern and the cellist Pablo Casals during his studies at the Tel-Aiv conservatory, Pinchas Zukerman got a scholarship to pursue his formation at the prestigious Juilliard School, New York. But it is his first prize at the 25th Leventritt International Competition that launched Pinchas Zukerman's career. Playing with the most outstanding musicians of his generation (Daniel Barenboim, Itzhak Perlman, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Jacqueline Du Pré), Pinchas Zukerman interprets here Schubert's famous Sonata Arpeggione. Initially composed for piano and arpeggione, an instrument invented in 1823 and similar to the bass viola da gamba, the piece has now entered the viola repertoire.
Schubert composed the Sonata Arpeggione in November 1824, when he was already suffering from the syphilis' symptoms and recurrent depression crisis. But the expression of his personal grief did not yield towards hopeless moanings. At most a sense of nostalgia stems from the inflexions of the melodic line. Schubert's sense of decency perhaps, most probably his attachment to his ring of friends, impeded the weakened composer to fall completely into despair. Like the hero of Die schöne Mullerin, Schubert's music displays a certain hope of comfort and peace. "Ah, under, yes under,/is cool rest!/Ah, brooklet, dear brook,/please just sing on." (Die Schöne Mullerin, "Der Müller und der Bach": "Ach unten, da unten/Die Külhe Ruh!/Ach Bachlein, liebes Bachlein,/So singe nur zu.")
A film by Christopher Nupen