Sunday, April 13, 2008

Play on...

Last week was a bit unusual - we went to four concerts, yes, four in one week!
On Monday noon we went to our regular Shearim concert at the hall in the town center, where last week there was a duo of pianists, both from St. Petersburg, who played together very well, and it was very enjoyable. Then that evening we went (with some friends) to a concert at the Young Israel synagogue given by a great violinist, Adrian Justus, who is from Mexico, and who plays all over the world, and works with Pinhas Zuckerman in NY. He is really excellent, world class, and plays a Stradivarius. He played the whole evening without looking at a piece of music. He looks so young yet has five children.
Thursday night we went to the AACI to hear a piano recital by Prof. Spivak, Head of the Piano Dept. at the Netanya Music Center. He is also from St. Petersburg, and is a real virtuoso, also playing for a whole evening without any music. I especially loved the second half of his concert which was all Chopin. Some of it is so lovely and lyrical, but Chopin as well as being a Polish nationalist was also an anti-Semite, and refused to play if Jews were present. Difficult to understand!
Finally on Sat. night we went to the Herzliya Chamber Orchestra conducted by Harvey Bordowitz, for which we have a subscription, with concerts every 4-6 weeks. They played a symphony by Haydn, a crossover piece by Brahms based on a theme by Haydn, and then Brahms concerto for violin and cello (opus 102). This latter piece is very beautiful, with the interplay of the violin, the cello and the orchestra (almost like a quartet) and is definitely worth hearing.
The costs for these concerts is minimal, the Shearim concert costs NIS 25 ($7), the violin recital cost NIS 65 ($15) , the piano recital cost NIS 25 ($7) and the subscription concert costs ca. NIS 100 each ($30). And there are no travel fees, Shearim and AACI are 10 mins walk from us, the shool is ca. 5 min drive and the Herzliya Hall is about 25 mins drive, and no parking fee. Well worth it!
Four concerts in a week is unusual, but two are not, and we have had some excellent concerts in the recent past. The previous week at Shearim there was a new soprano, Yulia Makti, who sings in the Israel Opera (although not one of the top singers). But, she is still young and although from Tashkent she has lived in Israel most of her life. Her figure and beauty (about 6 foot and shapely) are as striking as her voice and because she was such a hit, the organizers asked her to perform a concert one evening next week. Previously at the Shearim concert we had an oboe player who was great and before that a concert with bassoon and piano. So our musical interests are well served and we hardly ever get time to listen to CDs!


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