A concert finale in Sultan’s Pool, outside the Old City walls in Jerusalem..
(photo credit: TOURISM MINISTRY)
The curiosity value in the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s recent concert was Bruch’s rarely performed Clarinet and Viola Concerto.
Its performance rarity is presumably due to the scarcity of clarinetist and violist siblings such as Sharon and Ori Kam, since for a non-sibling musician there is not much reason to embark on a search for a partner just to perform the Bruch concerto.
This work contains a fair amount of what Schoenberg used to call “Bruch sentimentality.”See the latest opinion pieces on our Opinion & Blogs Facebook page
Sharon and Ori Kam did their very best to make the work as appealing as possible, and to impress the audience with dazzling virtuosity, especially in the fast final movement.
Richard Strauss composed a lot of original orchestra works, so that there is no reason for performing a “Suite” – a selection of themes from his opera Rosenkavalier (“The Cavalier of the Rose”), even though he may have had nostalgic feelings for it in his advanced age. Out of their operatic context these themes became insignificant, and the waltz section became mechanical, not sounding dance-like at all.
Nikolaj Znaider emerged as a conductor of stature and a fascinating musical personality in Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8. It was rendered with formidable vitality, incisive articulation of phrases, subtle nuances of dynamics, splendid transparency, gripping tension and a well-rounded, rich orchestral sound.