Beersheba Arts Center
The Sinfonietta opened its this year's light classical series with a mixed bag of works by nationalist composers. A bright and sprightly modal Pastoral Suite, Op 19 by Swedish Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986), styled between Grieg and Sibelius, opened the evening. Three works for solo violin followed.
Violinist Robert Bokor (Macedonia-Serbia) is a virtuoso of the old
school with 19th century derrogotype postures, long hair, and commanding
tone. He doesn't count notes but plays with pep. He flowed along with the dreamy Czech atmosphere of Dvorak's Romance, Op.11. In Tchaikovsky's Russian Valse-Scherzo, Op.34 and Sarasate's Spanish Gypsy Dances, Op. 20 he revealed a formidable technique with dazzling up-bow staccatos, ricochet bowing, frenzied double-stops and left hand pizzicato - all well phrased and stylistically satisfying.
Doron Solomon led Manuel De Falla's popular El Amor Brujo ballet suite in a semi-staged version with Israeli flamenco dancer Einat Schacham up-stage and the orchestra placed back-stage. Her poses were strikingly histrionic, while the quality of her hand gestures was captivating in these ritual dances of love's passion and pain. Contralto Bavat Marom joined the Sinfonietta for the intense vocal interludes.