(photo credit: Courtesy)
With its solo work at its beginning – Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 – and
Brahms’ Tragic Overture at its center, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s
program for last week’s concert seemed to be limping on two left
Conductor-violinist Nikolaj Znajder displayed an enchanting, pure
sound on the violin. In the concerto’s slow movement he made the violin sing an
aria with the same full melodiousness that Mozart developed later in his
The final movement conveyed the lightheartedness of the young
Mozart in an exuberant mood.
Elgar’s Enigma Variations sounded
appropriately enigmatic. They also sounded more thoroughly rehearsed than the
Tragic Overture, that made, in conductor Znajder’s brisk tempi and short cut
rests, a jolly rather than tragic impression.
In the Variations, on the
other hand, tempi were slower, and consequently were granted their full weight.
Finely differentiated dynamic nuances, abundant instrumental tone colors, and
significantly emphasized contrasts between the variations were enormously
appealing. At the end, the final Variation was reminiscent of the same
composer’s Pomp and Circumstance more than of the “Enigma” theme.