Last remaining seats to the Jpost 2017 Annual Conference! Get your special offer now

IPO Rossini: Stabat Mater, Jerusalem ICC, June 17

June 20, 2012 20:57

Conductor Fisch presented an admirable rendition, displaying masterful command of the orchestral tutti.

Asher Fisch

Asher Fisch 370. (photo credit:Photographer: Chris Gonz)

Unfinished as Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 is, it was relegated to the rank of mere hors-d’oeuvre in the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s recent concert, conducted by Asher Fisch, and the audience was released to a not-yet-well-deserved intermission after only 20-minutes.

Conductor Fisch presented an admirable rendition, displaying masterful command of the orchestral tutti and the many, delicately profiled instrumental soli. By not rushing the fast movement’s Allegro and not dragging the slow movement’s Andante he achieved a reasonable balance of tempi.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

In the program’s main work, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, however, the conductor seemed to be preoccupied with the orchestra more than with his vocal forces. The Gary Bertini Choir sounded accurate and precise, but mechanic and indifferent, without flexibility of tempi when appropriate and with no nuances of dynamics when desirable.

The concluding Amen’s enthusiasm became mere shouting. Effective enough, though, for eliciting the conventional rhythmic applause when it was all over. As for the solo singers, these were too often overshadowed by the orchestral din.

Among the soloists, Cosmin Ifrim was outstanding. His radiant, forcefully expressive heldentenor was up to the high expectations of this role.

This is more than can be said about the other singers. Rinat Shaham’s warm mezzo-soprano was appealing when the orchestra had a rest, but was no match for the orchestra’s mostly domineering, unrestrained volume. Serena Farnocchia displayed a bright, clear soprano – too strained and shrill, however, on the higher notes. The dark-timbred bass-baritone of Simon Orfila sounded friendly, but tended to vanish when descending to his role’s lower depths.

The gentle art of casting did not quite do justice to this enchanting masterpiece.
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

  • symphony
  • Share this article via
    from around the web
    Related Content
    Sarah Silverman
    August 26, 2014
    Jewish women take home gold at 2014 Emmys

    By JTA

    Top Stories
    Israel Weather
    • 13 - 34
      Beer Sheva
      16 - 25
      Tel Aviv - Yafo
    • 16 - 29
      15 - 27
    • 21 - 32
      19 - 34