Jerusalem Baroque orchestra.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
As a change of pace, an all-Brazilian program was presented by the Jerusalem
Symphony Orchestra last week. Not only was the music Brazilian, but it also was
of 20th-21st century vintage, providing a fair sampling of contemporary
Brazilian creation, which is not very well known on our shores, except for the
It was all fairly listener-friendly music – by
Edino Krieger, Camargo Guarnieri and Marisa Rezende – remaining rather faithful
to classic conventions, though spiced here and there with traditional Brazilian
elements and occasional strokes of personal inventiveness. These characteristics
made this music noticeably different from European music of the same period,
particularly Rezende’s Vereda (2003).
Soloist Luiz Filipe Cuelho, in
Guarnieri’s Violin Concerto No. 1, persuasively expressed the work’s energetic
South American rhythms in its first movement. Sometimes, though, he had a hard
time holding his own against the overpowering brass. In the Romantically
inclined slow movement, he sensitively conveyed its lyrical mood and dashed off
the sparkling final movement with brilliant virtuosity.
Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, Sivan Rotem displayed a well-cultured soprano,
concluding the Cantilena on a delicately soft high note.
All this was
largely well-behaved music. That is, until the encore, a piece based on folkloric
Brazilian rhythms, brought the concert to an electrifying
Conductor Ligia Amadio held the orchestra firmly in her grip,
inspiring it to more enthusiasm and cohesion than usual.