Thursday, May 27, 2010

The David Goldman Programme for Outstanding Young Musicians is officially opened at the Jerusalem Music Centre

On May 16th 2010, the Jerusalem Music Centre invited guests to a festive evening for the launch of The David Goldman Programme for Outstanding Young Musicians. The programme offers gifted pianists, string- and wind players, aged 14 to 18 from all over Israel, the opportunity to study and play chamber music together at the JMC under the guidance of top Israeli- and visiting musicians, enriching and enhancing the musical training the young people are receiving at other institutions and privately. Twice a year, the participants assemble for a week or two to form the Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, performing to full houses at Israeli concert venues; this orchestral experience is also under the auspices of the JMC. Over the 30 years of its existence, many graduates of The Outstanding Young Musicians Programme have made international performing careers; illustrious chamber ensembles such as the Jerusalem Quartet, the Jerusalem Trio and the Ariel Quartet were formed and trained at the JMC.

David Goldman was born in the North of England and lived his life there. Music, sport and the education of young people were among his many interests. He passed away in 1999. His wife, Mrs. Cynthia Goldman, and their sons, Daniel and Andrew, see their support of the Outstanding Young Musicians Programme as a fitting way of perpetuating David’s memory and his values.

Hosting the evening, Edna Ruppin - director of resource development at the JMC and, herself, a graduate of the Outstanding Young Musicians Programme - welcomed members of the Goldman family, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Dorit Beinish, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, President of the Jerusalem Foundation Ruth Cheshin, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Jerusalem Music Centre Menachem Ya’ari and other guests gathered in the auditorium. We heard words from Neil Greenbaum of the Jerusalem Foundation: he spoke of David Goldman’s commitment to Israel and to the furthering of young musicians and of the support and contribution the Jerusalem Foundation gives to culture and education. Hed Sella, Director of the Jerusalem Music Centre, read a message sent from Lord Rothschild to the Goldman family and emphasized the Rothschild Foundation’s long-standing support of the JMC. Sella looks forward to many years of joint work and friendship with the Goldman family. Unable to attend the event, Maestro Murray Perahia, President of the JMC, was seen on video talking about the chamber music program as the ideal environment in which young aspiring musicians can develop and learn to collaborate with and know and each other. Also on video, members of the Ariel Quartet – Gershon Gerchikov, Alexandra Kazovsky, Amit Even-Tov and Sergey Taraschansky, who had been tutored at the JMC by Avi Abromovich, spoke of their appreciation of the quality training the centre had given them in preparation of their musical careers; they expressed how happy they were to return to the JMC to teach today’s musical youngsters. Another graduate, violist Amichai Grosz, a founding member of the Jerusalem Quartet, now leading the viola section of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, talked of the important skills he had learned at the JMC, namely those of listening deeply and the skills involved in making meaningful music.

Participants and graduates of the Programme for Outstanding Young Musicians performed a number of chamber music items to the great enjoyment of all gathered. Roni Shavit, Daniel Zinn and William Weill are all in their last year in the programme and will soon join the Israel Defense Forces as outstanding musicians. The trio, coached by Yaron Rosenthal, performed the first movement of L.van Beethoven’s Piano Trio in D opus 70 no. 1 “Ghost” (1808). We then heard three movements of Joseph Haydn’s Quartet in D major opus 64 no.5 “The Lark” (published 1791) performed by Daniel Pinson, Anat Pagis, Yesha’ayahu Ginzburg and Gil Ben-Ari. Their tutor is Professor Avi Abromovich.
The third musical item was the first movement of Johannes Brahms’ String Quartet opus 51 no. 1 in C minor (1865-1873) performed by Barak Schossberger, Amit Damari, Eitan Edri and Shiri Tintpulver. Members of this ensemble study at the Thelma Yellin High School and are coached at the JMC by Sergei Bressler. The involvement, understanding, confidence and fine musicianship of all these young players are proof of the high quality of training and dedication of the teaching faculty at the JMC.

Four graduates of the Programme for Outstanding Young Musicians – Uri Dror (Director of the David Goldman Programme for Outstanding Young Musicians) and Yaron Rosenthal (adviser and tutor in the programme and a member of the acclaimed Jerusalem Trio) joined by Netanel Pollack and Talia Erdal (both graduated last year and now serving in the IDF as outstanding musicians) – performed the Scherzo from G.Faure’s Piano Quartet no.1 in C opus 15 (1876-1879). Their delightfully whimsical reading of the piece, subtly shaped and sophisticated, brought the evening’s musical programme to an end.

Amit Damari spoke on behalf of the young participants, recounting the exhilarating, life-changing experience of her four years of study at the JMC, her meeting with other young players and the privilege of studying with the finest teachers. She thanked the Goldman family for their generosity.

Daniel Goldman spoke on behalf of his family. He talked about his father’s taste in all sorts of music, David’s love of concerts and that fact that both his sons played instruments. David Goldman was inspired by the energy of young people. Daniel thanked the staff of the Jerusalem Music Centre for their dedication to music.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"This Night I Dance" - the PHOENIX Ensemble presents Baroque music from Latin America

Taking time out from the pace and pressures of everyday life in urban Israel, we made our way up to the Eden-Tamir Music Center - a venue nestling in its own leafy, tranquil garden in Ein Kerem Jerusalem - to be transported to Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru, Bolivia and Colombia. “Esa noche yo baila” (This Night I Dance), a concert performed by the PHOENIX Ensemble on May 15th 2010, featured secular and religious music from Baroque Latin America: music of composers, of various ethnic groups and of the fusion that has resulted from the different cultural streams. Joining soprano Michal Okon were Dr. Myrna Herzog, founder and musical director of the PHOENIX Ensemble, performing on viol, rabel, recorder and crumhorn, Adi Silberberg on recorders, crumhorn, rauschpfeife and colascione, Michael Ely on Baroque guitar, Baroque charango and colascione and Nadav Gaiman on percussion.

The program was divided into groups of pieces representing music from the streets, from the palaces, religious music, music of the Blacks and that of the Indians. Some of the pieces performed were selected from the Trujillo Codex – an important and authentic collection of nine volumes of watercolors together with19 musical pieces gathered from 1782 to 1785 in the streets and villages of Peru by Baltasar Martinez Companon y Bajanda, Bishop of Trujillo. Opening with “Esa noche yo baila”, we find ourselves hearing a folksy, antiphonal song to the delicate background sounds of birds and street noises of 17th century Bolivia. In the Peruvian song “Marizapalos bajo una tarde” (One Evening They Left Marizapalos) we learn of a country girl and boy going off to the forest together, to be saved from “misconduct” by the arrival of the maiden's uncle, who is no other than the priest. Following Michael Ely’s poetic introduction, Michal Okon spins the earthy, tongue-in-cheek tale, her verses punctuated with delicate interludes on viol, guitar, recorder and percussion.

The program included pieces in the typically joyfully, infectious dance rhythms of Spain and Latin America. In Spanish composer Antonio Martin y Coll’s ((1660-1740) “Danza de la hacha” (Axe Dance) instrumentalists entertained the audience with recorder, alto- and bass crumhorns, rabel and Baroque guitar in a rousing, foot-tapping performance. In “La Bomba”, a piece representing the Blacks, we hear Herzog on the rabel (a bowed chordophone common in the Iberian Peninsula) and Silberberg on recorder. The folksy, repetitive character of the dance creates carefree timelessness.

The religious pieces on the program draw attention to the deeply spiritual conviction of the Latin American people. Of particular interest was “Qhapac eterno Dios” (God Omnipotent) written by Luis Jeronimo de Ore (d.1620), a Peruvian bishop and scholar of Indian dialects into which he translated several religious works, the above-mentioned piece being one of them. Composed in1598, it is actually a Credo. Sounding over a drone, the melody is presented in its simplicity by Okon, with Silberberg taking one verse on the recorder. Showing Baroque emphasis on text expression, Okon and the instrumentalists then present a tranquil, reverent reading of “Mi nino dulce y sagrado” (My Sweet, Holy Son) by Gaspar Fernandes (1565-1629), a Portuguese composer and organist active in the cathedrals of Antigua Guatemala and Mexico.

Music in the courts of Latin America was dominated by Spanish composers. Santiago de Murcia (1673-1739) was a Spanish guitarist and composer. Manuscripts of his music, however, have been found in Chile. Michael Ely performed de Murcia’s “Marionas” on Baroque guitar; the piece combines art music with traditional Spanish guitar music. In Mexican composer Francisco Escalada’s (fl.1677) Christmas song “Canten dos jilguerillos” (Two Finches Singing) the instrumentalists join Okon in the word rhythms.

Putting this program together saw Brazilian-born performer and researcher Myrna Herzog spending many hours in New York libraries, searching through archives and corresponding with researchers of Latin American music. All the arrangements are those of Herzog. On one hand, she begins rehearsals only once her scores are ready; on the other, she keeps an open mind to extra ideas resulting from discussion and suggestions with her fellow performers in rehearsals. The percussion format was worked out by Rony Iwryn together with Herzog. Over the years, PHOENIX’s concerts have given Israeli audiences the opportunity to hear and see early European and Latin American instruments – the rauschpfeife (a 16th century double-reeded “buzzy”), the rabel, the cajon (a robust Afro-Peruvian drum) and the colascione (a long-necked lute). The Baroque charango (a small South American stringed instrument of the lute family) Ely played is the only one of its kind in Israel and was made especially for PHOENIX projects.

Michal Okon was born in Israel to a Mexican father and a Belgian mother who had grown up in Uruguay. Her mother tongue is Spanish and she loves the music, dances, texts and the warmth of Baroque Latin American repertoire. Her voice is bright and stable throughout; her performance, articulate and uncluttered, allows the words and music to speak for themselves.

One of Herzog’s strengths lies in her choice of performers. Michael Ely’s playing illuminates both the rhythmic and harmonic dimensions of the music. Adi Silberberg, a multi-faceted artist, infuses his feel for Latin American music into each musical phrase and gesture…even on the recorder! Young percussionist Nadav Gaiman uses his sense of color and good taste to add hearty rhythms on one hand, with delicately, understated magical touches, on the other. Myrna Herzog’s arrangements are varied and rich in timbres; they invite her performers to both blend and give personal expression to the text at the same time. Her sense of joy, color and her perfectionism make the journey she takes her listeners through the streets and courts of Baroque Latin America a rich, interesting and fulfilling one.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The PercaDu Marimba and Percussion Duo performs in the JMC Chamber Music Series at the Jerusalem YMCA

The PercaDu Marimba and Percussion Duo presented a different kind of chamber music concert May 6th 2010 in The Jerusalem Music Centre’s 2009-2010 concert series, which takes place at the Mary Nathaniel Hall of Friendship, YMCA Jerusalem. Israeli artists Tomer Yariv and Adi Morag (both born 1976), graduates of the Royal Danish Academy of Music (Copenhagen), established PercaDu in 1996. The duo has a busy international performance schedule, playing as a duo, with orchestras, in festivals and holding master classes for percussionists. The recipient of several awards, PercaDu Duo was taken under the wing of the Jerusalem Music Centre in 2001, this collaboration leading to the recording of their first CD “PercaDu – Works for marimba and Percussion” and to the commissioning of works for the duo. In 2007, PercaDu was chosen to be a member of IcExcellence, an Israeli organization uniting people with vision, and artistry who are committed to expanding values of excellence in society.

The audience entering the YMCA concert hall was met by a stage crowded with all manner of percussion instruments, some more familiar than others. The program opened with Danish composer Anders Koppel’s (b.1950) “Toccata for Marimba and Vibraphone”. Its up-front fanfare bursting forth with a rush of intensity, Koppel’s work leads into a number of different sections and moods – a tango and a waltz, a fugue in 7/8 time, dramatic and humorous moments, sentimental and dreamy moments. A work of virtuosity and temperament, it certainly had the audience sitting up in their seats, excited and ready for more!

The duo performed two keyboard pieces of J.S.Bach (1685-1750) – Prelude in C sharp major from Book I of the Well-Tempered Clavier and Prelude in A minor From Bach’s English Suite no. 2. In the former, Yariv and Morag build up the tension created by the perpetuum mobile process with lightness, agility and purposeful energy, leading to the prelude’s climax and end. The A minor Prelude, on the other hand, falls into sections, with the artists flexing tempi slightly and contrasting denser sections with sensitive, sotto voce playing.

Bela Bartok’s (1881-1945) “Romanian Folk Dances” (1915) are seven pieces based on dances recorded from simple folk on Bartok’s pioneering ethno-musicological trips taken from 1910 to 1914. Though Bartok would have heard these dances played on fiddle, shepherd’s pipe or bagpipes, he penned them for piano, later arranging them for chamber orchestra. The arrangements PercaDu played of three of them follow a general trend to arrange them for various instrumental combinations. Bringing out the delicacy of melodic lines and folk modes, Morag and Yariv choose gentle, sparkly textures to sketch the plaintive tunes. Especially effective was their use of the “hang”, an idiophonic instrument made of two curved steel sheets, the upper surface having a number of different pitch areas, and usually played with the hands and fingers, producing magical bell-like- or even harp-like sounds.

Australian composer Nigel Westlake (b. 1958) composed his “Omphalo Centric Lecture” for percussion quartet in 1984. It was inspired by a painting of the same name by Paul Klee in 1939, in which a figure (possibly a woman) represents Klee’s quest to look into the mystery at the centre of the universe, into what lies beyond. The PercaDu duo has arranged Westlake’s work for two players, receiving Westlake’s approval and enthusiasm for their good taste and understanding. The musical motifs in this piece are not Australian but African, the work including intense sections of driving rhythms, chromaticism and an almost visual sense of measureless African landscapes that ends up disappearing into the distance.

Tomer Yariv created the delightful arrangement of Hungarian composer Franz Liszt’s (1811-1886) piano piece Liebestraum (Dream of Love) no. 3 that we heard. Each of Liszt’s three Liebestraum movements, based on poems by Ludwig Uhland and Ferdinand Freiligrath, talks of a different aspect of love: exalted love, erotic love and mature love. The third nocturne is the most popular. Yariv and Morag gave it a sensitive and sensuous reading, their playing lush and warm, their glittering filigree runs punctuating phrases, winning the audience over with the delicacy of melodiousness and understatement..

Adi Morag’s “Kol Kadum” (Ancient Voice) was written to be performed at the 2009 Bible Festival in the Beit Govrin caves. Opening with a strong, uncompromising percussive section, the work becomes a kaleidoscope of sounds, textures and associations using Jewish- and Arab scales, with a smattering of modern Israeli oriental music here and there. Exotic at times, mellifluous and caressing at others, masculine and powerful at yet others, “Kol Kadum” reveals the rich and varied traditions of this part of the world. The score calls for the artists to make use of the many different instruments surrounding them; Morag and Yariv never miss a trick.

Providing yet another contrast, Tango no. 3 from Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla’s (1921-1992) Tango Suite, composed in1984/5 for two guitars, with its wealth of inebriating South American dance rhythms alternating with touching, sentimental melodies, is colored with interesting harmonic combinations. The duo illuminates the text with relish, translating the original score’s guitar-tapping into foot-tapping and sticks struck together.

The concert ended with Tomer Yariv’s “Gyro”, this title referring both to the action of a gyroscope and to the flexibility and stability demanded in the performing of martial arts. In the unrelenting intensity of the piece, we witness the artists choreographed into perfect synchronization, musical and visual aspects of the peace creating a fine balance.

Adi Morag and Tomer Yariv breathe a breath of fresh air into the concert hall. Their program is highly polished, communicative and it bristles with interest and variety. The two artists are gregarious, joyful and inspired; their ability to perform by heart, their energy, versatility and sheer virtuosity are breathtaking. PercaDu’s deep reading into the style and meaning of each work is matched with true musicianship.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sergei Stadler conducts and solos at the Augusta Victoria Church (Jerusalem)

A noon concert of works by Haydn, Schubert and Mozart took place May 1st 2010 at the Augusta Victoria Church (Jerusalem), under the auspices of Pearls of Classical Music ( . Sergei Stadler, both conductor and solo violinist, directed the Jerusalem Festival Orchestra and the Kfar Saba Chamber Choir (musical director Aharon Harlap). Soloists in the Mozart Requiem were soprano Maria Yoffe, mezzo-soprano Galina Malinsky, tenor Yotam Cohen and bass Natanel Zalevsky.

One of Russia’s most illustrious musicians, violinist and conductor Sergei Stadler (b. St Petersburg 1962), a graduate of the St Petersburg Conservatory and the Moscow Conservatory, conducts and performs widely and has recorded many discs. The recipient of several prizes, he teaches master classes and produces operas. He was the driving force behind the “Music in the Hermitage Halls” project.

The Kfar Saba Chamber Choir –an ensemble of some 40 singers - was established in 1986 and functions under the auspices of the town’s Department of Culture. Composer and conductor Aharon Harlap took over as musical director in 1997. The choir has a busy performing schedule, records and has had concert tours in Europe.

Located on the northern side of the Mount of Olives, the Augusta Victoria Hospital and
Church, named after Empress Augusta Victoria - wife of the German Kaiser Wilhelm II, were built from 1907 to 1910. The church, designed in the grand taste of German architect Robert Leibnitz, is characterized by its 60 meter high bell-tower, and was named the “Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Ascension”. The interior of the church is rich in interest, providing an attractive venue for concerts, its lively acoustic an added advantage.

The concert opened with Joseph Haydn’s (1732-1809) Violin Concerto in G major Hob. VIIa:4 (c.1769). Haydn has been credited with four violin concertos, three of which have survived. Some musicologists have expressed doubt as to whether the G major concerto was composed by him or not, although the Finale:Allegro, one of unadulterated joy, is most typical of Haydn. Sergei Stadler’s reading of the work was measured and deeply rooted in the Classical manner, his tempi moderate, his performance of the demanding violin solo sincere and articulate. Much of his direction of the Jerusalem Festival Orchestra of ten string-players and harpsichord was simply through eye contact.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) wrote no concertos. In the concerted genre, he did, however, compose the Concert Piece for Violin and Orchestra D.345 and his Rondo for String Orchestra. D.438 (1816). We heard Stadler and the Jerusalem Festival Orchestra in the latter. An extended rondo, comprising of three themes, it is a small masterpiece. Stadler’s clean, steady playing and direction stay clear of showy concert-piece mannerisms. He guides his listeners through the episodes, key- and mood changes, illuminating the text with clarity and brilliant, clean passagework.

The concert ended with an uplifting performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s (1756-1791) Requiem Mass in D minor K.626 (1791). With the orchestra providing much variety of timbre – woodwind playing was especially pleasing – the Kfar Saba Chamber Choir’s fine group of singers was responsive, confident and expressive, aware of dynamic changes, their singing of vocal lines leaning into the focal point of the musical phrase. Stadler and his musicians kept the work’s emotional tension running through the work right to the end, bringing out its underlying emotional struggle, its drama its pathos and its compassion. Soprano Maria Yoffe’s sensitive, well-chiseled phrasing and creamy voice and mezzo-soprano Galina Malinsky’s lush, fruity tone rang through the church. Yotam Cohen’s silvery, powerful and penetrating tenor sound is always distinctive. Young bass Netanel Zalevsky’s upper range boasts an interesting and rich mix of colors. A frequently performed work, Mozart’s Requiem is an inspiring work for performers and audiences and this was no exception!

Friday, May 7, 2010

"Modern Music for Recorder and Piano" - a disc recorded by Leora Vinik and Liora Ziv-Li

“Modern Music for Recorder and Piano” is a selection of pieces by 20th century composers, a disc recorded in 2008 by two Israeli artists – recorder-player Leora Vinik and pianist Liora Ziv-Li. The 20th century has seen renewed interest in early music and its performance practice, one result being the recorder’s reinstatement as a solo- and ensemble instrument, another being the creating of a new and varied modern repertoire of works for the instrument. “Modern Music for Recorder and Piano” presents works of varying styles from different countries in Europe, plus one Israeli work, the technical- and musical demands on each instrument being equally challenging.

Israeli-born recorder player Leora Vinik received a B.A. with honors in Music and Bible Studies from Tel Aviv University, continuing her studies in recorder with Marion Verbruggen (Holland) to graduate with an Artist’s Diploma in Performance. Vinik divides her time between solo performance, recording, instructing music students and teachers, tutoring adults in recorder ensembles and much work in the field of music education for children in Israel. She has also been involved in the writing of performance practice manuals and of guided listening texts to accompany the Youth Concert Series of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. In “Modern Music for Recorder and Piano” Vinik plays on a Moeck Rottenburgh model soprano recorder and a boxwood alto recorder made by Israeli recorder-builder Yoav Ran.

Pianist Liora Ziv-Li, born in Israel, graduated from the Tel Aviv Academy of Music (piano, harpsichord) proceeding to studies at the Royal College of Music (London). She is the recipient of a number of awards, winning prizes in international competitions. Ziv-Li’s professional engagements include performing with orchestras and recitals; she has played on radio and television in Israel and overseas.

Flautist Marta Klempner began her studies in Israel, receiving Bachelor and Masters degrees in Performance (modern flute and Baroque flute) and Musicology from Indiana University, Bloomington, continuing her studies at the Royal College of Music (London). Since returning to Israel, Klempner has played with orchestras and performed in chamber music concerts.

Hans Gal (1890-1987) was born near Vienna but fled to Britain in 1938, where he eventually took up a lectureship at the University of Edinburgh. His Three Intermezzi opus 103 (1974) are a set of mood pieces of transparent, delicate textures, a fine mix of contrapuntal- and harmonic interest, humor and gentle mood changes. Vinik and Ziv-Li’s reading of them is attentive and interesting in its fine detail, their playing in keeping with Gal’s unflagging sense of good taste. Hans Ulrich Staeps’ (1909-1988) Sonata in E flat major for Recorder and Piano strikes a very different note. This is the Austrian educator and performer’s first composition. Staeps’ work, somewhat reminiscent of Hindemith’s style, defies bar-lines and tonal stability and presents a feisty canvas of long, inventive melodic lines, jaunty rhythmical ideas and provocative textural motifs which, as in the sonata’s third movement, then transcend into lyrical, intimate moments. Ziv-Li and Vinik take on board the many challenging facets of this work, handling its technical challenges and tricky temperament with aplomb.

German conductor, flautist and baritone Hans-Martin Linde, (b.Germany, 1930) has spent much of his professional life teaching in the Music Academy of Basel; he, himself, is a virtuoso player on both recorder and flute. His Trio for Alto Recorder, Flute and Piano (1960) balances and juxtaposes the timbres of recorder, flute and piano in five short, sinewy movements. Joining Vinik and Ziv-Li is outstanding flautist Marta Klempner. Linde creates a fine blend of timbres from this blatantly unconventional scoring; the three artists’ thorough reading of the musical text, together with their accuracy and purposefulness, makes for high quality performance.

Peter Farago’s (b.1932) Hommage a Bela Bartok – Rondo for Soprano Recorder and Piano was composed in 1989. Farago, born in Germany, moved to Hungary with his family in 1935. Constructed from short, varied sections, this piece is peppered with Hungarian-style folk dances and songs, tempo changes, eastern European modes and asymmetrical rhythmic motifs. Ziv-Li and Vinik meet the technical and stylistic challenges of the piece, resulting in the use of energy and color that make for interesting listening.

One of the highlights of the disc is surely British composer John Graves’ (1916-1997) Divertimento, with the dedication “For Fiona”, for alto recorder and piano. Composed in 1964, this small gem, created in five short movements, boasts superb writing for both recorder and piano, opening with the Prelude with its vivacious onset, rapid harmonic changes and rhythmic displacements, then moving into the wistful, songful Air, sketched in autumnal hues and more securely anchored in stable tonality. The third movement – Festivo – suggesting a jolly country celebration complete with little dances, in which the recorder adds small comments, is charming, whereas, in the Soliloquy, the recorder adopts a pensive, soul-searching mood. The coquettish Finale ends the work with a dash of good humour. Vinik and Ziv-Li’s playing certainly does justice to the musical text.

And to the 21st century. Dr. Hagar Kadima’s (b.Israel, 1957) chamber works have been performed internationally in concerts and festivals. She is the founder of the Israel Women Composer’s forum and teaches in Tel Aviv. “Glimpse of a Question from a Distant Desert” (2007) ties in with the composer’s fascination for desert landscapes and is in keeping with the musical direction in which Kadima’s writing has been taking her over recent years. Clear in form, the work is built around a tonal centre – moving away to view it from afar and eventually returning to it; the score demands enormous dynamic change on the part of the recorder, certainly a tall order from an early instrument. Opening with a section wherein piano and recorder pace together, the piece takes the listener off into the measureless distance of the desert and of one’s mind. Ziv-Li and Vinik have read deeply into the layers of the piece, producing an impressive, thought-provoking and moving performance.

Vinik and Ziv-Li’s collaboration has produced a disc that will interest the music-loving public and recorder players in particular. The two artists’ working of each style and piece has been painstaking and profound. This is performance at its best.

The disc comes with a highly informative and detailed disc sleeve. Included in the box is a DVD created by Leora Vinik, beautifully filmed by Avny Manes (ARTV Communications Ltd., Tel Aviv) and edited by Orit Dembsky, in which five of the works on the disc are joined by other art forms. We are witness to artist Mirjam Walter’s painting of an abstract canvas to Vinik’s performance of Hans Ulrich Staeps’ Sonata in E flat major. Soothing blues and burnished reds prevail. Each movement begins with a short viewing of the written text; the visual play of both Vinik’s- and Walter’s hands is an interesting one. The opening scene for the Pastorale from Hans-Martin Linde’s Trio for Alto Recorder, Flute and Piano is an azure sky, soon to be alive with the movement and poetry of formation of storks and water.

Hagar Kadima’s Glimpse of a Question from a Distant Desert joins the hands of potter Talma Tamari, in which the mesmerizing spinning of the potter’s wheel is initially shown in grays and beiges, with some superimposed images of desert, birds and camels. Only at the end does the scene take on a brighter, pastel coloring.

The Air from John Graves’ Divertimento is the inspiration for a scene depicting the sound and movement of the sea, whereas the Soliloquy features dancer Shimrit Golan hazily and subtly moving in and out of a leafy background.

A collage of the people and inner life of Jerusalem’s Old City is viewed together with Peter Farago’s Hommage a Bela Bartok. Artistically photographed, the film shows the skyline, colors, the Jerusalem stone and the birds of the Old City depicted together with the vibrant activity and spiritual traditions of all three monotheistic faiths represented within its walls. This piece carries a significant message from Vinik.

The question of how connected or relevant the visual- and musical aspects in this DVD presentation are to each other is left to the viewer to answer. Do you focus on the visuals or is your ear busy with the sound? Do they become one multi-faceted art form or does each hold onto its identity? Much thought has been invested into these pieces and they definitely throw light on the many possibilities offered within the milieu of multi-media.

To order the