Shohat, Beethoven & Tchaikovsky

SO Music and Comments, Jerusalem Theater, February 27

Gil Shohat 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Gil Shohat 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Conductor-pianist-composer-lecturer Gil Shohat contented himself with three roles only last week, graciously ceding composition to colleagues Beethoven and Tchaikovsky at the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra’s concert.
Radio talent and political commentator Oren Nahari refreshed the audience’s memory by recalling Beethoven’s admiration for, and subsequent despisal of, Napoleon. This, of course, was the connection between Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 or his Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano in C major (commonly known as the “Triple Concerto”) and the concert’s title, “Liberty.”
In the Triple Concerto, cellist Ina Joost virtually made her instrument sing. The slow movement’s eloquent cello solo sounded like a veritable concerto. Her warm, intense expression persuasively conveyed the work’s emotional content.
Solo violinist Jennie Huenigen displayed a pure, clear, enjoyable sound, and cautiously controlled expression.
The instruments’ responsive episodes demonstrated a sense of mutual attentiveness and genuine chamber music spirit vis-a-vis the orchestra.
Shohat’s thoroughly professional piano playing contributed solid cohesion, though it inclined to domination of the more subtle solo strings.
Soloist Boris Giltburg’s appealingly soft touch, in Piano Concerto No.
4’s slow movement, sensitively conveyed its lyrical mood and effectively highlighted the dramatic dialogue between the piano’s poetic songfulness and the orchestra’s recitationlike assertiveness. In the fast movements, on the other hand, he adopted a mostly technical, sportsmanlike approach, making one wonder where he was running to so hurriedly, and with so many swallowed notes.