Shani’s IPO debut displays command

Martha Argerich, the soloist of Ravel’s Piano Concerto, displayed South American temperament, if such a thing exists.

Lahav Shani. (photo credit: MARCO BORGGREVE)
Lahav Shani.
(photo credit: MARCO BORGGREVE)
IPO
Martha Argerich
Jerusalem International
Convention Center

All the works performed by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in its recent concert were of the 20th century.
Nevertheless, they suited the taste of the conservative IPO audience because none was in 20th century modernist style. Ben-Hayim’s Symphony made use of the so-called “Mediterranean” folklorist-based style. Ravel’s Piano Concerto, though composed in the 20th century, was not modernist, though his Impressionism turned its back on the previous Romanticism and Classicism, and Stravinsky’s sound effects in “Firebird,” though considered super-modern at its time, sounds today almost Classical.
For conductor Lahav Shani, Zubin Mehta’s inheritor, this was a debut performance. He displayed authoritative command of the orchestra, and in Ben-Hayim’s Symphony tremendous energy and most delicate sensitivity in the work’s melodious passages.
Martha Argerich, the soloist of Ravel’s Piano Concerto, displayed South American temperament, if such a thing exists. Her rendition of the jazzy passages was thoroughly persuasive, and the lyrical sections were performed with utmost sensitivity, leading up to brilliant virtuosity in the impressive conclusion.