Concert Review

Israel Sinfonietta, Arik Davidov - trumpet, Aviv Ron - conductor, Beersheba Arts Complex, April 24.

Arik Davidov’s concert-show with the Sinfonietta was a celebration of the trumpet. The Israeli trumpeter and former prodigy of the IDF Band, put on an old-fashioned Tony-Bennet-plays-Las-Vegas-like display of talking, dancing, singing and marching about the stage. And the audience sang along, too.
All in all it demonstrated Davidov’s remarkable skill on the instrument and mastery of all styles from classical to jazz, film (Nurit Hirsh’s Officer Azulai) and show music, ethnic Italian Neapolitan songs and Spanish and Bulgarian folk music.
Not only this: Arik Davidov came onstage playing a heraldic Baroque trumpet fanfare with banner swaying, then proceeded to toot the “Grand March” from Verdi’s Aida and “Saints Go Marching In” on a three-foot garden hose. He growled Bizet’s “Habanera” from Carmen on a toilet plunger, and sounded his own composition Shepherd in the Desert on a shofar, besides blowing reveille and flag-raising signals on a keyless bugle, and Leroy Anderson’s “Trumpeter’s Lullaby” on a flugelhorn.
Davidov paid homage, as well, to other great trumpeters, from the earlydays of recording in the classic “Carnival of Venice” variations, toHarry James and Louis Armstrong (“A Wonderful World”) of the big bandera, to Herb Alpert’s commercial Tijuana Brass andWynton Marsalis’s screeching high notes. Often holding the trumpet withone hand and making conducting gestures with the other, he would swayup and down and stand on one leg, even improvising a Romanian-styleklezmer lament with concertmaster Asher Blachmann.
Davidov isa master of parody and a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to mimickingtrumpet styles and techniques, and tosses off the most difficult lickslike nothing. This evening was entertainment by an astounding virtuosowith a 1950s-style flair for showmanship. Conductor Aviv Ron supportedhim at the podium, as song leader and raconteur.