CONDUCTOR KAZUSHI ONO 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy of Eisuke Miyoshi)
The pièce de résistance in the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s matinee concert
last week was Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1. Although a 20th-century work
(1959), it is rather rarely performed, and already sounds almost classic with
its clearly chiselled melodic motifs and communicative emotional
Argentinian soloist Sol Gabetta seems inclined to a meditative,
lyric approach that makes her performance appear more mature than her age would
suggest. The slow movement and, even more so, the Cadenza, were given a
melancholic lament-like character, though the technically demanding passages
were rendered with brilliant virtuosity.
The opening and concluding
angular, aggressive motifs were treated with a soft-pedalling attitude,
refraining from extrovert tempestuous outbursts.
The concerto was
sandwiched in between two French impressionist works – somewhat much of a very
good thing: Debussy’s Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un Faune (1894) and Ravel’s
Daphnis and Chloe (1911).
Composed long before the World Wars, they can
hardly be taken as signs of escapism from the horror of the wars, contrary to
what moderator Astrit Baltsan would have her credulous audience
Conducted by Kazushi Ono, the Prelude started with an
exquisitely soft flute solo, more so than what one is accustomed to hearing
Ono highlights the works’ abundant delicate instrumental tone
colors with loving care. Displaying an authoritative command of the orchestral
forces, he led the Ravel Suite to an exciting conclusion.