ISRAEL FESTIVAL REVIEW: Duo pianists

Kanazawa – Admoni Eden-Tamir Music Center, May 27.

By URY EPPSTEIN
June 5, 2016 20:02
1 minute read.
Maya Michlal Gelfand debuts ‘Bound’ with the Kolben Dance Company

Maya Michlal Gelfand debuts ‘Bound’ with the Kolben Dance Company. (photo credit: BEN OMANSKY)

 
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There was nothing festival- like in the Israel Festival’s opening of its classical music events at the Eden-Tamir Music Center in Ein Kerem.

Chamber music is more than welcome, of course, every day of the year. In fact, it is performed every Friday and Saturday throughout the year at the Eden-Tamir Center – festival or not. All the Israel Festival did was swallow up the regular programs of Eden-Tamir and adopt them into its own. This procedure seems to be a sort of alibi, to divert attention from the almost total absence of real classical music in this year’s Festival program, due to its narrow-minded obsession with contemporary or modernist music.

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Consequently, the glorious heritage of classical music – the raison d’etre of the Israel Festival, founded by Aron Tsvi Propes, whose name is not even mentioned anymore among the festival’s present-day dignitaries – seems now to be looked down on as passé.

Nevertheless, the appearance of the duo pianists Tami Kanazawa and Yuval Admoni in this first program deserves to be applauded with enthusiasm. The Japanese pianist Kanazawa and the Israeli Admoni are a model of conjugal-musical collaboration and mutual attentiveness, without diluting the personal characteristics of each. Their off-the-beaten- track program featured mainly well-known orchestral works in their not-so-well-known two-piano arrangements by the composers themselves, such as Liszt and Dukas. The twosome admirably succeeded in making the two pianos sound like a full-fledged orchestra, but paradoxically also revealed subtle nuances that often remain lost in the orchestral turbulence.

Brilliant virtuosity, perfect coordination, forceful expression and delicate passages made their performance an uncommonly impressive experience.

A two-piano version of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, authorized by the composer, brought the performance to its stunning conclusion.

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