(photo credit: Jpost.fr)
The hall was sparsely populated at the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra’s
Schumann Marathon concert last week, conducted by Noam Sheriff – and
not because of Schumann.
Marathon concerts, a passee trend of some twenty years ago, have lost their novelty value long ago. The audience, predictably, voted with its feet by staying away, leaving many seats vacant. Moreover, in a city such as Jerusalem, so blessed with abundant chamber music concerts at many venues, no urgent need is felt to have chamber music rammed down one’s throat in a symphony concert too, unless it is an exceptionally outstanding performance. In this case, however, it was pianist Daniel Adni with four JSO members, playing Schumann’s Piano Quintet.
The concert’s orchestral part presented Adni performing a conventional rendition of Schumann’s Piano Concerto
. All the notes were played accurately at the right place and time. Nuances of volume and tempi were conspicuous in their absence. So were excitement and emotional expression.
In Symphony No. 2
, the strings, particularly the lower ones, were drowned by the boisterous, overshadowing brass. The nervosity, so characteristic of Schumann, was substituted by mere breathless, superficial haste. After all, the lights had to be out by 12 o’clock, or so the conductor seemed to have been instructed.