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Israeli Tsvi Avni’s performance of his Metamorphoses on a Chorale by Bach (1985) was the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s tribute to contemporary Israeli music in its recent concert.

By URY EPPSTEIN
May 17, 2015 21:16
The Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv

The Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: WWW.ICM.ORG.IL)

 
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Israeli Tsvi Avni’s performance of his Metamorphoses on a Chorale by Bach (1985) was the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s tribute to contemporary Israeli music in its recent concert. In its future programs, too, such a tribute should hopefully be more than wishful thinking.

Predictably, the French musician brothers Renaud and Gauthier Capucon were perfectly coordinated and mutually attentive in Brahms’ Concerto for Violin and Cello. Gauthier sang on his cello with a sonorous, rich and warm tone, while Renaud contributed brilliance and well-polished virtuosity on his violin. This performance brought Brahms’ emotional Romanticism to vibrant life.

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Fate knocked on the door in an awful hurry in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, as conducted by Omer Wellber. Velocity was achieved at the expense of weight. The score’s tempo indications were regarded as mere recommendations. The second movement’s Andante consequently became an Allegro, and the final movements’ Allegro became Presto. Articulation of phrases was rushed, leaving no rest for breathing. The resultant swallowed notes were sufficient for another symphony.

Refreshing though this rendition was, it was also breathless, bordering on the superficial.

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