Believe it: Martha Argerich and Ivry Gitlis on stage in Tel Aviv tonight

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  • I was there. It was quite something. There was plenty of feeling in his playing, some mischievousness and the odd mistake. Ivry gave lively introductions to each piece in Hebrew and English throwing in a few jokes one or two of them slightly bawdy. At the end, after a standing ovation, he said with much emotion in Hebrew: “I thank the God of creation that we are all here in this place.”

    Argerich accompanied him with grace, gentleness and humility. Once she seemed to wipe away tears. The rest of the concert – Prokofiev’s Overture on Hebrew melodies, Mendelsohn’s Piano Trio and Schumann’s Piano Quintet,,was quite terrific.

    • Did Gitlis play only Schön Rosmarin? Who were the other string players?

      Going by this recording, I could relish the musicality and listen past the mistakes and poor sound…. There is enough sentimental value in all this to enable me to see the glass half full.

  • I attended a concert of Argerich, Babayan and Gitlis back in 2013 and back then already thought it was disappointing and sad. He is an old man and plays like an old man. No offence but it would probably be better, to be remembered for the brilliant violinist he was and not by the pictures of an old man playing… for me it was sad to see and hear….

  • Fortunately, for those who find this hard to enjoy, there are many ways to hear and recall how Gitlis played in his prime, or even in his lengthy but still productive “past-his-prime.” But what I find interesting from a purely violinistic standpoint is that while his left hand has an old person’s trembly vibrato, pretty much what one would predict given the white hot vibrato of his youth, the bow arm and wrist, usually the first parts of a violinist’s equipment to go to hell, seem surprisingly sound. His bowing was always so eccentric and untraditional that I would have thought just the opposite would be his fate.

    His ear appears to still be pretty reliable as well. Listen to Kreisler’s late broadcasts with the Telephone Hour to experience what an unreliable ear does to a performance. .

    Every violinist has to decide when it is time to hang ’em up, unless it is decided for them. Most wait too long, and some of them play even after they themselves no longer enjoy it. And for some it comes shockingly early, as it did for Szigeti who still had so much to offer as a musician when the playing per se was a trial to listen to. He himself must have shared this view as he refers in his autobiography to his “posthumous recordings” and his practical orchestra concert repertoire basically constricted itself down to the Mozart G Major No. 3, however ambitious his late recording schedule for Mercury was. I have read that those who mentioned to Szigeti after retirement that they had heard him play the Mozart were usually greeted by a reply by him regretting the performance greatly. .

    At least Gitlis still seems to be enjoying his own playing . May that never end.

  • I am sorry; I don’t know if this is the right place to ask this. I am not very familiar with western classical music. I recognised Schon Rosmarin and Liebeslied being played by him. What was the first piece?


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