Classical Review: JSO Rite of Spring Centennial

JSO Rite of Spring Centennial Jerusalem Theater, May 29.

Piano (photo credit: Wikicommons)
(photo credit: Wikicommons)
Believe it or not, but one hundred years have passed since Stravinsky’s at the time ultra-modern, provocative, vehemently booed Rite of Spring was premiered. The centennial was appropriately celebrated in the Israel Festival by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Frederic Chaslin.
It was an impressive performance. It might have been even more impressive if climactic high points had been followed by even a split-second breathing rest to let the music sink in.
No less impressive, though, was Ishay Shaer’s solo rendition of Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand.
Shaer, an Israeli pianist who seems to be known better abroad than in his home country, made it hard to believe that only his left hand commanded all the ranges of the keyboard. It was not only a brilliant virtuosic achievement of this demanding work, but also rhythmically gripping, and sensitively conveyed its abundant subtle nuances of dynamics and delicate sound timbres.