Concert Review: JBO

Purcell, Handel & Co. YMCA Auditorium

Purcell, Handel & Co.
YMCA Auditorium
Jerusalem, February 23
Purcell and Handel were the center of interest in the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra’s recent concert, preceded by their lesser known predecessors and contemporaries Schmelzer and Biber.
Conductor/solo violinist Walter Reiter elicited abundant subtle nuances of dynamics from the orchestra  such as one hardly ever encounters there. In particular, sounds gradually diminishing to an almost whispering piano were a rare treat.
In Biber’s Passacaglia, Reiter proved that he is capable of producingsuch delicate nuances on the solo violin no less than with theorchestra, or even more so.
In arias from Purcell’s Fairy Queen and Handel operas, RevitalRaviv’s appealing, friendly, though not very sounding soprano wasrestrained and more pathetic than dramatic as opera requires.
Reiter’s no-doubt valuable comments before works would have servedtheir purpose to better advantage if the use of a microphone would haveenabled the back rows not only to see but also to hear him speak.