The facade of the Jerusalem YMCA.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
MEVASERET ZION CHOIR
From Renaissance to Moderns
YMCA, February 18
It’s something of a surprise that a suburban community such as Mevaseret Zion can boast of a choir all its own. Even more surprising was the Mevaseret Zion Choir’s rather ambitious program, ranging from Giovanni Gabrieli’s Renaissance via Bach and Haydn to contemporaries Yehezkel Braun and still less wellknown, younger ones such as John Rutter, Jack Stump and Yehezkel Raz.
Though an amateur choir, it sounded quite professional, especially in terms of voice production that was never strained, shrill or shouting, but relaxed, soft, well-balanced and appealing thanks to its thoroughly professional conductor Gila Brill. Particularly appealing was the choir’s obvious enthusiasm and joy.
The choir sounded most enjoyably in its a capella pieces, such as Braun’s “Song of Songs,” where subtle nuances of dynamics were especially noteworthy.
Lewandowski’s “Hallelujah” evoked nostalgic feelings among German-born Israelis who had childhood memories of this inspired piece, once sung in their now non-existent synagogues.
The collaborating Israel Brass Octet sounded well-rehearsed and impressive, but tended to overshadow the choir’s voices.