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Israel Philharmonic / Israel Philharmonic 60th Anniversary Gala Concert (2 CD Set)
Album:Israel Philharmonic 60th Anniversary Gala Concert (2 CD Set) Collection:Classical
Artist:Israel Philharmonic Added:10/2021
Label:Bmg Distribution 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2022-02-26 Pull Date:2022-04-30 Charts:Classical/Experimental

Album Review
Gary Lemco
Reviewed 2021-10-31 
The Israel Philharmonic: 60th Anniversary Gala Concert
Label: RCA/BMG
Reviewed 2020-6-1. Gary Lemco

December 26, 1996 marked the 60th anniversary of the Israel Philharmonic,
established in 1936 in Palestine by virtuoso violinist Bronislaw Huberman
as part of a safe haven for those fleeing Nazi oppression. Almost exclusively 
a concert for violins and orchestra in the first half, the second half features
the Brahms Symphony No. 2 in D under Zubin Mehta. The Philharmonic is also
 led by Daniel Barenboim and Pinchas Zukerman, opening with the 1826 Oberon
Overture of Carl Maria von Weber, who took his cue from Shakespeare's 
A Midsummer Night's Dream. It was Weber who “invented” the Romantic style 
in music.

Zubin Mehta leads the Bach Double Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1043, with 
Isaac Stern and Gil Shahan. The second movement Largo ma non tanto 
remains thoroughly enchanting in its contrapuntal “simplicity” of style,
a lovely duet. Bach’s own model for violin writing, Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
is represented with his own Concerto for 4 Violins and Orchestra, Op. 3, No. 10.
The soloists – Shlomo Mintz, Gil Shaham, Maxim Vengerov, Menahem Breuer - 
play in a series of “mirror” or “echo” effects, in close imitation. In the slow 
movement, the violin alternates bowed (arco) and plucked figures (pizzicatos).
After an opening unison for the four violins, the last movement Allegro suggests
a spirited, rustic dance with an active bass line. The dynamics range from the 
quite soft to the ardent surge of sound that anticipates Rossini’s love of 

Pinchas Zukerman conducts Mozart’s 1776 Serenade No. 6 in D. K. 239, the
so-called Serenata notturna. Set in an antique style, the orchestra divides
itself into a large and small ensemble, in the manner of a concerto grosso. 
The martial first movement has swagger, and its episodes feature strings against
the tympani. The Menuetto continues the march-like tempo, while its middle
section allows the violin, viola, and double bass some intimate, chamber
music effects. The sectionalized Rondo finale proceeds in Viennese style, 
featuring a new theme late in the dance.

To end the concert’s first half, violinist Itzhak Perlman and violist 
Pinchas Zukerman combine for Johan Halvorsen’s arrangement of
Handel’s Passacaglia and Sarabande taken from Handel’s Suite
No. 7 in G Minor for harpsichord (1720). A constant bass pattern
underlies the series of variations, which become increasingly “modern”
and colorfully virtuosic.

The Brahms Second Symphony (1877) gives us the composer’s equivalent
of Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony: bucolic, generally optimistic, often
assertive, while still touched in places by a resigned melancholy. A deep
Romantic, Brahms suppresses his emotions by clothing them in Classical
forms. The second movement, Adagio non troppo, more openly reveals
its tragic awareness, in modal colors. Brahms avoids a scherzo third
movement, opting for an Allegretto that serves as an intermezzo. The last
movement does deliver a more unbuttoned Brahms, determined to find a
sense of triumph while working through various relaxations in the momentum

Note: The Weber and Brahms works appeared on the original program in
Palestine 26 December 1936.

Track Listing
1.CD1. Carl Maria Von Weber, Overture to the Opera "oberon" [9:53] 8.Mozart, Serenade No. 6 in D, K. 239. March: Maestoso [4:22]
2.J.S. Bach, Concerto in D Min for 2 Violins and Orch. BMV 1043. I. Vivace [3:54] 9.Menuetto [3:57]
3.II. Prelude on G [0:31]. Largo, Ma Non Tanto [6:41] 10.Rondo: Allegretto. [4:48]. Pinchas Zukerman, Conductor, Violin
4.III. Allegro [5:46]. Isaac Stern, Gil Shaham, Violins. Zubin Mehta, Conductor 11.Johan Halvorsen, Passacaglia and Sarabande [6:42]. Perlman, Zukerman
5.Vivaldi, Concerto in B Min for 4 Violins and Orchestra. I. Allegro [4:05] 12.CD2. Track 1. Brahms Symphony No. 2 in D, Op 73, Allegro [15:20]
6.II. Largo [4:05] 13.Track 2. Adagio Non Troppo [8:48]
7.III. Allegro [4:03] (Zubin Mehta, Conductor) 14.Track 3. Allegretto Grazioso [5:07]
 15.Track 4. Allegro Con Spirito [9:53] (Zubin Mehta, Conductor)