Jerusalem Baroque orchestra.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A benefit concert of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Anita Kamien, on behalf of lone and wounded soldiers is, no doubt, an extremely praiseworthy undertaking. However, it does not necessarily require works solely from the standard Romantic repertoire – Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms – without a single Israeli or contemporary piece.
The program seemed tailored to the taste of the expected audience that filled the hall to capacity.
Soloist Roger Kamien rendered an accurate and sensitive performance of Schumann’s Piano Concerto. He played it with noble restraint, not permitting himself to be carried away too much by the work’s intense emotionality or the nervousness so characteristic of Schumann. In the transition from the second to the final movement, he rushed with Romantic impatience from slow to fast without creating dramatic tension by gradually increasing the tempo until the explosive climax.
Brahms’s First Symphony is admittedly a demanding challenge for any
orchestra and for any conductor. Anita Kamien rendered an energetic and
exciting performance. Densely orchestrated as the work is, occasional
blurred instrumental balance and swallowed intermediate notes,
overshadowed by the brass and percussion, were perhaps unavoidable.
This, however, by no means diminished the enthusiasm of the appreciative
audience and the number of flowers showered on the conductor during her
numerous curtain calls.