Beer Sheva Conservatory
Nitz Shaul, dressed as a roaring 20s flapper, delighted in William Walton's stylish "Facade" suite written in 1922.
A celebrated, but rarely heard early 20th century work, this performance marked an artistic event in Israel. Shaul, with true theatrical flare, declaimed the pastiche of 15 nonsense poems by Edith Sitwell with rambunctious energy, vivid gesticulation, and cute dance moves.
The seven virtuoso Sinfonietta soloists (flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, percussion, trumpet, cello, and guest saxophonist Gan Lev) under music director Doron Solomon, articulated the musical parodies that underscored the poems (marches, polkas, fox trots, tarantellas, and similar popular styles) with bitter sweet sarcasm, and sharp, piquant joix de vivre.
The full ensemble performed a spirited, though rough hewn Britten's Simple Symphony, along with a collection of Beatles songs scored for instruments only.
It was a nice idea for this second classical concert of the series, but devoid of the words, expressive singing, and electronic effects of the four boys from Liverpool, this version sounded like school music.
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