Concert Review: Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra

Grief and Humor, Jerusalem Theatre, February 21.

Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra 390 (photo credit: Courtesy of Dan Porges)
Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra 390
(photo credit: Courtesy of Dan Porges)
Johann Schmelzer’s Lament on the Death of Ferdinand III was performed in the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra’s recent concert, conducted by David Shemer, to commemorate its former general manager Aharon Kidron, who died last year. This partially mournful piece balanced Bach’s humorous Coffee Cantata.
Oded Reich captured the music’s and text’s humor with his sonorous, appealing baritone- like voice, although advertised as bass. His discreet portrayal of Schlendrian perfectly conveyed the work’s amusing spirit. As Lieschen, Revital Raviv’s clear, bright soprano sounded immensely appealing. With her personal charm, she convincingly represented this spoiled and enchantingly coquettish girl. Her effortless, light high notes were a delight to hear. However, a clearer enunciation of the not always understandable libretto, even for native German speakers, would have been welcome.
Violinist Boris Begelman, as soloist and conductor, performed an elegant and fluent rendition of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with abundant subtle nuances of dynamics and clear-cut articulation of phrases. His infectious energy enlivened the players with even more than this orchestra’s usual verve.