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Classical Review: IPO Jerusalem ICC, December 31

January 8, 2014 21:31

[illustrative photo]

Glasses sheet music 311. (photo credit:MCT)

IPO Jerusalem ICC, December 31 Andras Schiff, in the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s recent concert, is not just a pianist who also conducts.

He is a conductor of stature, as he proved in his performance of Brahms’ Symphony No. 4. He displayed a clear concept of the work’s form and spirit.

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To begin with, he respected the qualifying non troppo (“not too much”) of the opening Allegro movement, refraining from rushing impatiently ahead. By doing so, he convincingly captured the movement’s pensive, relaxed mood.

His conducting was authoritative, articulating phrases clearly and plastically, and carefully accentuating key notes that required it. The intricate final movement came as an impressively dramatic close.

In his capacity as soloist in Haydn’s Piano Concerto one owes him gratitude for reviving this unjustifiably neglected work that commonly remains in the shadow of later composers’ concertos. He performed it with sparkling brilliance, and in the final movement highlighted the work’s and his own virtuosity, adopting a breakneck tempo, somewhat at the expense of the piece’s playfulness.

In Dvorak’s Cello Concerto, soloist Miklos Perenyi displayed a songful, pure, soft sound – rather too soft for the orchestral tutti and the dimensions of the International Convention Center hall. It was a refined, sensitive performance, rendered with noble restraint, refraining from temperamental outbursts.
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