JBO performs Bach and Telemann

Telemann’s Tafelmusik was a treat despite – or perhaps just because of – no dinner being served at tables to distract attention from the music.

By URY EPPSTEIN
December 29, 2010 21:43
1 minute read.
JBO performs Bach and Telemann

Music good 88. (photo credit: )

The attraction in the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra’s concert last week, conducted by David Shemer, was Bach’s only seldom-performed Peasant Cantata, one of the few works where he permits himself some mildly amusing humor.

The humor was expressed discreetly by singers Revital Raviv and Yair Polishook. Reviv’s bright, somewhat thin and girlish soprano contributed captivating cuteness and irresistible charm, making one identify with Polishook’s flirtatious approaches. Polishook displayed an appealing, friendly baritone, well calculated to win Reviv’s sympathy.

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In the concert’s instrumental first part, it was a pleasure to see Laura Pontecorvo’s playing of the Baroque transverse flute in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5. Unfortunately, there was not much to hear because this delicate instrument’s sound is too soft for the dimensions of this hall. If the hall cannot be changed, which might be difficult, the program should be changed so as not to include solos by too weak instruments.

The same is true of David Shemer’s harpsichord – an instrument designed for an aristocratic salon, not for a concert hall.

Matters improved audibly when the tutti took its rest in the slow movement and parts of the final movement, when one could enjoy Pontecorvo’s caressing sound and Shemer’s authoritative playing.

Telemann’s Tafelmusik was a treat despite – or perhaps just because of – no dinner being served at tables to distract attention from the music, which should definitely be the main course.


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