Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Harvey's swan-song

While in the outside world there is much strife and uncertainty, here in Israel our life proceeds very smoothly.  One of our regular enjoyments has been a visit each month to Herzliya to hear a concert by the Herzliya Chamber Orchestra, founded and conducted by Harvey Bordowitz.  After 31 seasons he is retiring, and the orchestra, for reasons I do not know, is being disbanded.  Perhaps they could not find an adequate replacement or maybe the cost has become too much for the Municipality.  Last week we went to the final Farewell Concert given by Harvey and the Orchestra, free for long-time subscribers.  It was a great concert.
Harvey comes from Chicago and had international conducting experience before he came to Israel in 1976.  He is a small, balding bespectacled man with a lot of energy and looks very dapper in his bow tie and tails.  He has had some health problems and so now seemed the right time to retire.  He lives in Netanya and occasionally gives lectures about music. 
The Farewell Concert contained his personal selections, the last movement of the Italian Symphony by Mendelsohn, with its lively colorful depiction of sunny Italy, Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola, that has the exquisite duo competing and cooperating in one of the most beautiful musical pieces ever written, that was composed soon after the death of his mother, and the well-known and magnificent Fifth Symphony by Beethoven, which has that ineffable theme replayed in so many different variations.  For an encore they played the Nimrod theme from the Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar.  This Orchestra has reached an incrediby high level and it seemed to me that this was a perfect swan-song.  What a pity that good things cannot go on forever.
But, don't worry, we have purchased season tickets to the Kibbutz Orchestra that now plays in Netanya on a regular basis, and performs at the Netanya Cultural Center, so we will still have our monthly concert and less distance to go for it, it is 5 mins drive from home and ample parking.  Life continues smoothly along, while in the other world there is murder and mayhem.  Let's hope it stays there.


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