SOLOIST PETER WAGNER of the Ensemble Tourbillon..
(photo credit: PETRA HAJSKA)
Baroque opera selections that once were popular in 17th century Vienna and have been largely forgotten since, by composers such as Pietro Baldassari, Johann Joseph Fux, Giovanni Battista Bononcini and several more, have been revived by the Czech Ensemble Tourbillon, with Israeli soprano Revital Raviv, in the Israel Festival.
Besides Raviv, the program’s lead hero was the viola da gamba, the likewise almost forgotten predecessor of the cello. Soloist Petr Wagner’s breakneck virtuosity, with Justyna Reksc-raubo, in a sonata by Gottfried Finger, proved that this early instrument is capable of producing surprisingly dramatic and also intensely emotional music. Together with many of the vocal pieces it created the impression of a duet for soprano and viola da gamba.
Soprano Raviv made this early music sound fresh, communicative and immensely appealing. Her youthful, bright and radiant voice remained soft, gentle yet intense even on the highest notes. The lightheartedness of Attilio Ariosti’s Tal vicina a giglio
(“So close to the lily”) was accentuated with well-lubricated coloraturas and refreshing humor, and Fux’s “remorse, pain and lament” with genuinely moving mournful expression.