Familiar and unfamiliar

The Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra opens its new season.

The Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra (photo credit: PR)
The Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra
(photo credit: PR)
‘In our programs we try to combine pieces of the familiar repertoire with those that are new for our audience,” says David Shemer, founder and musical director of the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra before the opening of its 2014-15 season. The opening concerts will take place on November 11 at 8 p.m. at the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv and November 13 at 8 p.m. at the YMCA in Jerusalem.
The season opener features the Israeli premiere of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 11, reconstructed by the late Baroque oboe player Bruce Haynes.
“Haynes was one of the leading specialists in Baroque music, and the recreation of six Bach concerti, which are similar to the Brandenburg ones, was his last project. He does not repeat them but rather was inspired by the existing pieces by Bach,” explains Shemer. “Later this season, we will perform two more of them.”
Another Israeli premiere on the same evening is Vespro della Beata Vergine by Pergolesi.
“This piece, too, has been reconstructed by British music researchers. We will perform only a few fragments from this monumental piece,” says Shemer, who will conduct the concert. Young soprano Daniela Skorka and the Adi Choir will participate.
An absolute must for a true music lover is a concert by the Profeti della Quinta ensemble, which will perform new pieces by Elam Rotem. Two years ago the ensemble premiered Rotem’s dramatic work Joseph and his Brothers to great success. This time, he will perform a new work by a talented composer who enjoys the full command of the Baroque music language – “Song of Songs” and other biblical themes. These new pieces were recorded recently, and the album will be inaugurated in Israel at the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra concerts in January.
During the season, the JBO will also play pieces that have never been performed in Israel.
“These are, for example, pieces by members of Bach’s family. We are very proud that internationally acclaimed Israeli Baroque violinist Kati Debretzeni will return to lead the concert,” says Shemer.
Another participant of the evening is the talented young Israeli baritone Guy Pelc.
As if this is not enough, the ensemble, under British conductor Andrew Parrot, will perform San Giovanni Battista by Alessandro Stradella.
“This is a spectacular, beautiful oratorio that tells the dramatic story of John the Baptist, King Herod and his daughter Salome. I think it would be a shame to miss it,” Shemer says. Young Israeli countertenor Alon Harari, soprano Hadas Faran Asia and bass Yair Polishook will participate.
One of the most important events of the ensemble’s music life is the inauguration of the recording of Scarlatti’s oratorio Hagar and Ishmael.
“For this event, we will perform this captivating piece with talented young Israeli vocalists Avital Dery, Tal Ganor, Keren Motseri, Yoav Weiss and Adaya Peled,” says Shemer.
In another concert, the ensemble will host Yanshufim (Owlos) Israeli Recorder Consort in a far from traditional program.
In January, the orchestra will inaugurate a new chamber program, which will take place in Jerusalem at the Scottish Church, mainly on the last Friday of every month. Leading orchestra musicians and international guests will participate.
In addition, the orchestra will launch concert lectures on Baroque music at the Soldiers House in Jerusalem.
For more information, visit http://en.jbo.co.il/ For reservations: (02) 671-5888