Page 1 of 3The Israel Festival, 2011                                                               RECENT ENTRIES         ...
Page 2 of 3Another notable festival event was a recital given by the famous soprano, DameKiri Te Kanawa. Remarkably even a...
Page 3 of 3  Illustrations  Fig 1: The soprano Kiri Te Kanawa, courtesy John Swannell  Fig 2: The soprano Gillian Keith, c...
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The Israel Festival, 2011- The fiftieth year anniversary

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The Israel Festival, 2011- The fiftieth year anniversary

  1. 1. Page 1 of 3The Israel Festival, 2011 RECENT ENTRIES Jerusalems Season of Culture: AnBy Dr. Irving Spitz on August 23, 2011 12:11 PM | Comments | innovative approach spanning theFifty years old and still going strong! worlds of music, dance, poetry and philosophyGil Shohat, the talented young pianist, conductor, composer and lecturer, This year saw the inauguration of the first Jerusalem Season of Culture. One of the highlyindeed a musical polymath, conducted a fine performance of Gustav Mahler’s acclaimed events of this…Das Lied von der Erde. He used Arnold Schoenberg’s arrangement where By Dr. Irving SpitzMahler’s massive orchestration was reduced to 11 instrumentalists from theElisyum Ensemble. Musically nothing of this dramatic masterpiece was lost Music in Jerusalem: The ancientin this transcription. One could even appreciate how far Mahler, the heir of Sultans Pool put to glorious use.Wagner and Brahms, had moved in the direction of the Second Viennese Nowadays many outdoor cultural events inSchool of Schoenberg, Webern and Berg. Mahler himself was never formally a Jerusalem take place in the Sultan Pool. In biblical times, this area was known…member of this group. By Dr. Irving SpitzUnfortunately no program text notes were supplied although the veteran Israeli The Israel Festival, 2011actress, Gila Almagor, introduced each song. Despite her mellifluous Hebrew, Fifty years old and still going strong! Gil Shohat,this did lead to a loss of continuity. Gabriel Sadeh’s ringing tenor did justice to the talented young pianist, conductor, composerthe cycle. Mezzo soprano, Ayala Zimbler, was barely audible in the fourth and lecturer, indeed a musical polymath,…song, Von der Schönheit (Of Beauty). However she came into her own with her By Dr. Irving Spitzfinal contribution, Der Abschied (The Farewell) which is nearly as long as theprevious five movements combined. Here she gave an incandescent renderingof Mahler’s farewell although I would have preferred an even more subduedending.This concert was part of a 6 hour Mahler marathon which also included some ofhis most famous song cycles and piano quartet. Mezzo soprano, Bracha Kol,brought out all the poignancy and emotional intensity of Mahler’sKindertotenlieder (Songs on the Death of Children). This was far more suc-cessful that her earlier foray into Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of aWayfarer). Shohat accompanied her most competently on the piano althoughhe tended to drown her out in the fortissimo passages. 19/09/2011
  2. 2. Page 2 of 3Another notable festival event was a recital given by the famous soprano, DameKiri Te Kanawa. Remarkably even at her age, she still retains all the high notesalthough her lower register is somewhat restricted and her voice has also lostmuch of its volume. Nevertheless her voice’s characteristic beauty andresonance have been largely retained.This recital took place in the huge auditorium at the Jerusalem ConventionCenter, a most inappropriate venue for a recital. A more intimate venue wouldhave better served both Dame Te Kanawa and her public. Nevertheless, herregal presence and magnetic and wining personality overcame all issues andthis was a memorable recital.She gave wonderful renditions of Mozart’s songs, Chi sa, chi sa, qual sia (Whoknows, who knows, what be) and Vado ma dove (But where I go) as well asPamina’s Ach ich fuhl’s (Ah, I feel it) from the Magic Flute and Un moto digioia (A joyous emotion), an alternate aria of Susanna from the Marriage ofFigaro.The unquestioned highlight was a stunning performance of Richard Strauss’ssong Morgen (Tomorrow). Te Kanawa spun these lines with considerablebeauty and grace. This was unfortunately marred by incessant coughing fromsome sickly members of the audience. Her recital ended with an encore, herusual show- stopper, Puccini’s O mio babbino caro (Oh, my beloved father)from his opera Gianni Schicchi.Dame Te Kanawa also introduced one of her young protégés, Phillip Rhodes, apromising baritone who is destined for a great career. Her excellentaccompanist was the pianist Michael Pollock.Another noteworthy event of the festival was a performance by the periodinstrument British group, Florilegium. Pergolesi’s Salve Regina, not as wellknown as his Stabat Mater was given an outstanding rendition by Canadiansoprano Gillian Keith and this group of seven very talented musicians. Mostimpressive was the agility and trills of her lovely voice in her interplay withflautist Ashley Solomon in a performance of the aria Sweet Bird, a pastoral odeby Handel based on the poetry of John Milton. This left an unforgettableimpression and was one of the most memorable highlights of the current IsraelFestival. 19/09/2011
  3. 3. Page 3 of 3 Illustrations Fig 1: The soprano Kiri Te Kanawa, courtesy John Swannell Fig 2: The soprano Gillian Keith, courtesy Clare Park Education Update, Inc. All material is copyrighted and may not be printed without express consent of the publisher. © 2010.http://educationupdate.com/irvingspitz/2011/08/the-israel-festival-2011.html 19/09/2011

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