Violin player (illustrative photo).
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
A concert stage populated by 14- to 18-year-old musicians is immensely enjoyable scenery – the scenery of the Jerusalem Music Center’s Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Shanghai-born Y-An Xu.
There was nothing tentative about the performance of the concert’s most demanding work, Mendelssohn’s Reformation symphony.
It was rendered not only accurately, but also with enchanting liveliness and flexibility, a full, rich sound, without any strain or audible effort. Minute nuances of dynamics were abundant, as well as soft tone colors and, above all, audible and visible joy, identification with the music’s emotional content and attentiveness to the conductor’s intentions. Transparency was perfect, even in the last movement’s intricate polyphonic passages.
In Mozart’s Posthorn serenade, the orchestra could boast of flawlessly polished woodwind and horn soloists.
The pleasure would have been even greater if Dvorak’s concluding Slavonic Dances had been performed less boisterously but rather more dance-like, elegant and flexible.
However, when the conductor stepped down from the podium and let the orchestra conduct itself, with perfect coordination and assuredness, it became clear that this is an orchestra with esprit de corps that might serve as an example for many adult orchestras.
Based on this concert, one may look forward with confidence to the future of the IPO.