Short and sweet

The musicians are warming up for the three-day Red Sea Classic Festival.

Short and sweet (photo credit: Courtesy)
Short and sweet
(photo credit: Courtesy)
For three days (January 16 to 18), Valery Gergiev, the artistic director of the Mariinsky Theater of St. Petersburg, will bring his musical forces to Eilat for the traditional Red Sea Classic Festival.
The program features two operas in concert version that have never been performed in Israel, as well as Mahler’s Symphony No. 9. Yolanta, a rather short opera by Tchaikovsky, is the romantic story of a blind princess who gains the ability to see due to her love for a knight. It will be performed on January 16.
The following day, Massenet’s Don Quixote will be performed by the Mariinsky soloists, choir and orchestra under the baton of Gergiev. This five-act opera is a loose adaptation of Cervantes’s timeless masterpiece. The opera was recently performed in St.
Petersburg to great critical acclaim. Mahler’s monumental Ninth Symphony will close the festival.
In addition to larger-than-life evening concerts in the Hangar, there will be a program of chamber music. These concerts will take place at the Royal Beach Hotel during the early part of the day. The person behind the programming is Julia Pevzner, a young Israeli opera director with an impressive international career.
“Since the festival itself is very short, so is the chamber program,” she says.
“My idea was to present both classical and contemporary music. The chamber program opens and ends with compositions that were inspired by operatic pieces. For example, there is Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet, which sounds like a mini-opera itself; Weber’s, which includes themes from his operas; and pieces by Shostakovich, which are based on arias from Lady Macbeth of Mzensk. Also on the program is the world premiere of the Operatic Fantasy by Yoseph Bardanashvili, which was commissioned by the festival.”
The very title of the second concert, “Shadow of Rosendorff,” sounds intriguing.
“The program is inspired by Nathan Shaham’s book Rosendorff Quartet, which deals with the coexistence of musicians and features Schubert’s Death and the Maiden and Sheriff’s Quartet No. 2, inspired by the book. Composer Michael Wolpe will recite fragments from Shaham’s book,” she explains.
Another concert, entitled “Hopeless Romantics,” is comprised of piano trios by Wolpe and by Tchaikovsky.
“The piece by Wolpe is inspired by many melodies of Jerusalem, while the monumental trio by Tchaikovsky is dedicated to Rubinstein. The trio is 40 minutes long, which pass very quickly because the piece is absolutely captivating and is one of the best achievements of the Jerusalem Trio, which will perform it,” says Pevzner.
Other performers in the festival include The Carmel Quartet and members of the Israeli Chamber Project.
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