Is­rael scores high

Lawrence Joffe sees Is­rael’s com­posers feted in Lon­don

The Jewish Chronicle - - Arts & Books -

A CEL­E­BRA­TION OF IS­RAELI MU­SIC Dukes Hall, Royal Academy of Mu­sic, Lon­don NW1

IS­RAEL’S VI­BRANT com­po­si­tion tra­di­tion is of­ten over­looked. Hap­pily, an in­vig­o­rat­ing cel­e­bra­tion at Lon­don’s Duke’s Hall last Sun­day ad­dressed that deficit. Set­ting the mood was the lo­cal She’Koyokh Klezmer Ensem­ble, whose folksy sen­si­bil­ity bal­anced classical pre­ci­sion. They were fol­lowed by Me­nachem Wiesen­berg’s Over­ture for Strings, a trib­ute to Felix Men­delssohn.

The con­cert was part of Tza­vta, a Spiro Ark project, backed by Lil­ian Hochhauser, the Is­rael Mu­sic In­sti­tute and the Royal Col­lege of Mu­sic. As Ark co-di­rec­tor Nitza Spiro ex­plained, Tza­vta aims to in­tro­duce Bri­tain to real Is­raeli cul­ture.

Both Wiesen­berg and fel­low com­poser Michael Wolpe were present, as were out­stand­ing per­form­ers like Yossi Arn­heim, prin­ci­pal flautist with the Is­raeli Phil­har­monic. Arn­heim played Wolpe’s Flute Con­certo, whose hope­ful open­ing reap­peared at the end, but tinged with sad­ness. It re­flects, ex­plained Wolpe, his wish for peace.

Leeds-raised vi­o­lin­ist Ruth Water­man ex­pres­sively per­formed Paul BenHaim’s “Three Songs With­out Words”. Bind­ing ev­ery­thing to­gether was the im­pres­sive Hack­ney-based EMFEB Orches­tra. De­spite lim­ited re­hearsal time, they gelled ad­mirably with the visit­ing soloists.

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