Early music for seasoned ears

'There's no reason to deal with art if you are not prepared to take a risk," says soft-spoken Amit Tifenbrun, co-founder of Barrocade.

By MAXIM REIDER
October 18, 2007 09:09
2 minute read.
Borracade 88 224

Borracade 88 224. (photo credit: )

 
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'There's no reason to deal with art if you are not prepared to take a risk," says the soft-spoken Amit Tifenbrun, 40, co-founder of the new Israel music ensemble Barrocade, whose first subscription series opens tonight at St. Andrew's Church in Jerusalem. "We are neither lawyers nor doctors, and we do not bear the same responsibility as they do. After all, nobody dies of a bad concert, but revolutions in art are essential." This creative approach is also reflected in the ensemble's name, an invented word that combines "baroque" and "barricade". "The musicians are seated differently, like a barricade, and yes, we are fighting to perform the best early music possible." The ensemble, which was inaugurated last season, debuted in Israel to great success. The words of an excited local critic created a stir among the local early music community, "but there's nothing to worry about," says Tifenbrun, "there's enough room for everyone. Besides, nobody makes a living only from performing early music in this country." That said, the competition is always fruitful. Early music has been performed in Israel for at least 20 years, but what makes this ensemble different is the fact that all its 11 members were trained in Baroque music in the most important early music schools in Europe - and all decided to return to Israel. It's no secret that many other talented Israeli early music performers have left the country and built successful careers abroad. Some of them, like Tifenbrun or Boaz Berny, have learned to make early music instruments. Barrocade's ensemble members all play on reconstructed early flutes, recorders, violas da gamba, etc. "Unlike many Italian early music orchestras, which are based mostly on a string section, the basso section is the core of Barrocade. In many ways, Baroque music is similar to pop - it is mostly about a soloist and a rhythm group, which probably makes it so popular among the younger generation of concert-goers throughout the world," says Tifenbrun. He also explains that Baroque music is similar to another contemporary genre - jazz. "The scores of composers of the past are not detailed at all. You have to try and guess what they really mean." This year, the ensemble presents two concert series in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Kfar Shmariyahu. The first concert, Vivaldolina, features mostly vocal pieces of Antonio Vivaldi performed by the ensemble members. The concerts will be repeated at Einav Center in Tel Aviv Saturday, November 20, and at the Weil Auditorium in Kfar Shmaryahu Wednesday, October 24. The concerts start at 8:30 p.m. For reservations call (054) 449-8792.

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