Classical Review: Brahms' Variation on a Theme by Haydn

Andras Schiff seemed to play the orchestra just as though he were playing the piano.

May 25, 2013 23:04
The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra 521. (photo credit: Yeugene/WikiCommons)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


In his dual capacity as conductor- pianist, Andras Schiff proved that an extraordinary instrumentalist can, exceptionally, be also an outstanding conductor, in the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s matinee concert last week.

In Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Schiff seemed to play the orchestra just as though he were playing the piano. Subtle unpredictable nuances of dynamics were abundant. Delicate, almost imperceptible rubato changes of tempi infused breathing life into the rendition, and clear-cut articulation contributed plasticity. In particular, the last variation’s passacaglia- like bass line often overshadowed by the boisterous orchestral din, was clearly audible throughout, adding emphasis to the final climax.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Beethoven’s frequently performed “Emperor” Concerto sounded fresh and spontaneous as though heard for the first time – a formidable artistic achievement. The performance was an impressive combination of emotional sensibility and intellectual control.

Melodic highpoints were accentuated significantly, and only the gradual build-up of the transition from the slow movement was rushed headlong into the Rondo, missing the final climactic outburst just by hairbreadth.

Moderator Prof. Moshe Zuckermann attempted to point out the common denominators, if any, between Beethoven and Brahms.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Sarah Silverman
August 26, 2014
Jewish women take home gold at 2014 Emmys