Concert Review: JSO

Canadian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson knows how to emphasize difference between 2 and therefore make this double bill an enjoyable experience.

symphony 298 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
symphony 298 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Different though Faure’s Requiem and Brahms’s German Requiem are from each other in style and character, their successive performance in one program of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra brings the mood of depression to its limit.
Nevertheless, Canadian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson knew how to emphasize the difference between the two and therefore make this double bill an enjoyable experience.
In Faure’s masterpiece, she sensitively conveyed the work’s lyricism and consolatory message. The performance’s highlight was Hila Baggio’s solo “Pie Jesu.” This piece of rare inspiration requires nothing less than an angelic voice and expression, and that is what Baggio’s lovely and caressing soprano accomplished.
In Brahms’s work, the conductor wisely highlighted its immense contrasts, from the profoundly despairing chorus “For all the flesh it is like grass” through the exciting doomsday prophecy “For the trumpet shall sound” to the comforting soft conclusion “Blessed are the dead that are resting from their labors, and their deeds follow them.”
George Mosley displayed an appealing, dark-timbred baritone, though somewhat weak for the dimensions of the Henry Crown Auditorium.
The Israeli Opera Chorus proved that not only in opera it is capable of rendering an impressive performance.
Radiant sopranos, sonorous basses and middle range voices that blend in harmoniously and transparently displayed effective nuances of dynamics. The choir sounded meticulously well trained and disciplined.
Only in its German enunciation was there room for improvement to let German native speakers understand the sung words without resorting to the printed text.