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Last drinks in the Arnold Schoenberg lounge

September 14, 2018 by norman lebrecht

3 comments.


I’m recovering in the refreshment area of Jerusalem Music Centre after three concerts of music by Israeli composers, written over 70 years.

 

Much of it was incredibly intense – two clarinet quintets by Gideon Lewinsohn and Yoav Talmi – better known as an international conductor – leave no place to hide. Lewinsohn demands a higher than average level of player participation, ordering them to decide aleatorically on the order of movements. Talmi has each of the string players produce a different tapping noise from his or her instrument.

The pianist Ofra Yitzkahi crafted a revelatory recital of Bach pieces interspersed by works of Seter, Shlonsky, Gelbrun and Ben-Haim, unexpectedly intuitive.

But the knockout piece was a 35-year old work by Mark Kopytman for Yemenite soloist and orchestra in which the dedicatee, Gila Beshari, confronts a Mahler-sized orchestra without fear or favour, delivering her songs with the force of a Shakespearian tempest.

This is among the most performed works by a modern Israeli composer. I’ll try to find a clip.


Comments (3)

  1. RW2013 says:

    Similar festival in Berlin last year, also with many highlights
    https://www.new-life-festival.com

  2. Luigi Nonono says:

    Yikes. The only palatable music from Israel I have encountered was by Josef Tal, Ami Maayani, Paul Ben-Haim, and Marc Lavry. And only Lavry is truly digestible, musical.


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