The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Christoph von Dohnanyi
Mann auditorium, Tel-Aviv
One of today's most prominent conductors, Christoph von Dohnanyi, is an extraordinary combination of authoritative interpreter and master technician. This evening he gave a superb exhibition of his abilities, starting with Bartok's Divertimento for string orchestra and ending with Tchaikovsky's impressive sixth Symphony.
Dohnanyi's arresting musical personality is evident right from the start, with his sensitive yet playful reading of Bartok's Divertimento. But it was the Tchaikovsky that gave the strongest experience of the evening: extremely powerful, colorful and at times mesmerizing, it was a reading to remember.
For the concerto bit of the concert, the orchestra was joined by Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg playing Beethoven's second piano concerto (actually the composer's first despite its numbering). Although only 24 years-old, and despite his somewhat mechanical appearance, Giltburg exhibited an accomplished, sweeping performance, and handled his role impressively. What he seems to need to master most is not his playing, but a free and natural appearance on the stage.