It was a super-popular Romantic program that the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
presented at the matinee concert last week – Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherazade
Rodrigo’s Aranjuez Guitar Concerto.
Such a program of often-heard works
can be welcome if the performance is extraordinary. This was indeed the
case with Sheherazade. The masterful conducting of the American Ryan McAdams
impressively highlighted the work’s abundant tone colors, produced flexible,
fresh-sounding tempi that had nothing mechanical about them, never leaving a
dull moment, and created immense dramatic tension. Moreover, the orchestra
sounded well-coordinated, excellently balanced and transparent and under perfect
control. It was like hearing this familiar work for the first
Spanish guitarist Angel Romero presented a reasonable performance
of the Aranjuez Concerto. In the fast movements he displayed accurate, sometimes
electrifying rhythms. The slow movement sounded as sentimental as could
be. Those who like to indulge in sentimentality might have been happy
with this performance.
Commentator Prof. Moshe Zuckerman helpfully
reminded the audience of the works’ historical contexts.
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