"When it comes to music, I am not interested in rekhiles," says Gil Shohat, artistic director of the Israeli Chamber Orchestra, using the Yiddish word for gossip. So don't expect juicy historical tidbits when Shohat tackles the presenter role in this week's "Baroque Gems" segment of the "Explained Concert" series, in which he will also conduct and play piano.
"These explained concerts have always been a part of our season without turning into actual lecture-concerts. Instead, they are free conversations. My own concept is not to lecture but to speak about music - about its structure, about melody, about things which are dear to me. Some people call my conversations challenging, but I think this is exactly what the audience needs."
The program features what Shohat describes as a "hit parade of Italian baroque" - two concerti by Antonio Vivaldi (including "L'inverno" from Le Quatro Stagioni), a piano concerto by J. S. Bach, and a concerto for recorder by Telemann that is very rarely played. The soloists run the generational gamut, from veteran players Efraim Marcus (recorder) and Eliahu Shulman (violin) to promising cellist Yoni Draiblatt, still in his early teens.
"Playing Baroque music is always good for an orchestra, and the orchestra has not performed Baroque for a long time," says Shohat.
The concerts take place at the Jaffa Music Center January 8, at the Tel Aviv Museum of Arts January 9 and 10, at Kfar Shemaryahu on January 11, and January 15 in Afula.
For reservations, call (03) 518-8845