The Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble
Leader and soloist: Kati Debretzeni
Stricker Hall, Tel-Aviv
Previously hailed as Israel's best chamber group, the Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble warrants commendation for its effort at becoming a specialist Baroque ensemble. Unlike many other local groups playing music from the Baroque period, these guys really take things seriously.
Firstly, they made sure to employ gut strings and baroque bows on their instruments, thus putting themselves on par with most specialist baroque ensembles worldwide. Secondly, they chose one of today most prominent baroque violinists, Kati Debretzeni, to serve as both soloist and conductor - and a great choice it was. Dazzling the audience with her breathtaking technique and deep-rooted musicality, Debretzeni proved to be the best pivot one could ask. Her reading for Vivaldi's violin concerto RV 212 was especially memorable, with her superb command of the extremely difficult part it poses.
Flautist Eyal Ein Habar was another tasteful soloist in Bach's famous suite no. 2. Not all was bright, however: the ensemble's experience in playing baroque instruments is rather dull, and the fact they were making their first steps in this style was evident in several places. But overall, it was a celebration of young, serious musicians, boldly exploring a new stylistic world.