Concert Review: Israel Chamber Orchestra

End-of-Season, Jerusalem Theater, June 30

jerusalem theater 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
jerusalem theater 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Now that the US has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, so has the Israel Chamber Orchestra, coming all the way from Tel Aviv to perform its End-of-Season concert also in Jerusalem.  One hopes it will keep doing so  also throughout the next season.
Mozart’s Grand Mass is weighty and also long enough to provide a concert’s full-length program. Adding his  Misericordias Domini and Scena and Rondo K. 505 was  therefore superfluous, and served only to make an already long concert even longer. As a warm-up for soprano Alla Vasilevitsky, her efforts to reach the highest notes, shrill and without the required softness, were too noticeable.
The Gary Bertini Choir sounded rich, well-rounded and excellently balanced. Its rendition reminded one that Mozart remained, above all, an opera composer in whatever work he created, making this piece one of the most dramatic and melodious Masses of the Repertoire.  Contrasts were sharp and powerful, and melodious passages were rendered with loving care, sometimes with almost inaudible softness The Credo (“I believe”) was performed with force of conviction, and the Hosanna (“Deliver us”) sounded like an impassioned plea. The solo singers, sopranos Vasilevitsky and Hilla Blitmann, tenor Adi Ezra and bass Hagai Berenson did their very best to blend in harmoniously with the choir and orchestra.
The orchestra most impressively contributed to the drama and emotion.
Conducted by Ronen Borshevsky, it was a performance that did full justice to this inspired work.