Two Bachs and One Vivaldi
March 23In the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra’s recent concert, Shalev Ad-El’s interpretation transformed the Allegro assai (“quite fast”) and Allegretto movements of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s Symphony No. 182/3 into a hasty, breathless Presto, substituting the stately elegance of the Hamburg Hanseatic grande bourgeoisie with Israeli nervosity and impatience.In J.S. Bach’s Concerto for harpsichord BV 1055, soloist El-Ad’s playing was deplorably almost inaudible. El-Ad, a harpsichordist who also conducts, also let himself be carried away by the orchestra instead of restraining it in Vivavldi’s “La Notte” Flute Concerto, and Jan de Winne’s solo was overshadowed as a result.Only in the orchestra’s rare calm moments was it possible to enjoy theflute’s lyrical, lovingly shaped melodic passages and the threatening,dramatic ones of the imaginary night phantoms.In J.S. Bach’s concluding Concerto for Flute, Violin and Harpsichord,instrumental balance was finally achieved. This allowed one to be dulyimpressed by the brilliant virtuosity of El-Ad’s harpsichord, thesinging sound of de Winne’s flute, and Dafna Ravid’s baroque violinblending in harmoniously with her partners.