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Sunday, December 11, 2016

The ark of the Covenant music


Elena Bashkirova, the daughter of the famous pianist Dmitri Bashkirov and wife of a famous musician – pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, conducts in Jerusalem is an amazing, unparalleled chamber music festival. He has been held for almost 20 years – without pomp, without secular parties, without loud PR, without political overtones. But it is because he enjoys great respect among musicians and music lovers that it reigns pure art, high professionalism and great respect for the public. Observer “MK” plunged into the atmosphere of the festival and thought not only about beauty but also about the national festivals in the autumn.

photos of the festival organizers

Elena Bashkirova, the daughter of the famous pianist Dmitri Bashkirov and wife of a famous musician – pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, conducts in Jerusalem is an amazing, unparalleled chamber music festival. He has been held for almost 20 years – without pomp, without secular parties, without loud PR, without political overtones. But it is because he enjoys great respect among musicians and music lovers that it reigns pure art, high professionalism and great respect for the public. Observer “MK” plunged into the atmosphere of the festival and thought not only about beauty but also about the national festivals in the autumn.

History

Elena Bashkirova, who left at the time of the Soviet Union, not even completing the education at the Moscow Conservatory – active concert pianist. Chamber music – the scope of its priority interests. And particularly chamber and vocal music, which now, alas, becoming almost a rarity. Bashkirov aggressively promotes it on the international concert market. I remember a concert in the Great hall of the Moscow Conservatory, where the Duo of Anna Netrebko and Elena Bashkirova performed the romances of Russian classics. The idea of creating a music festival in Jerusalem was offered to local journalists, lamenting the poverty of the musical life of the capital of Israel. It was in 1997. Bashkirova fascinated by a sudden idea, and she launched a truly rough activity for its implementation. Maestro Barenboim, in her words, treated at first by her enthusiasm skeptical, but soon saw that the festival develops in the most serious way. Now he tries to parallel their own concert programs in Israel since the time of the festival and sometimes takes part in it.

Features

Chamber music festival in Jerusalem do not similar to large variety of forums, no more home gatherings of famous people. Here are solely dedicated to music and exclusively in the interests of the Jerusalem public. For example, this year for 10 days, there will be 14 concerts – afternoon and evening. Comparing the population of the city (830000) with a number of concerts and seats in the hall, we get a ratio of 8 400 to 830 000. This means that 1% of the population over 10 days listening to classical music concerts. It is clear that the festival has regulars who have season tickets to all concerts. But this figure, even conditional, is staggering.


photos of the festival organizers

There are no constant partying, friendly main figure of the festival, which, as a rule, is the core of most personal European forums, that’s why they often acquire a taste of “home joys”. Bashkirov is constantly expanding the range of participants: every year there are new names, a lot of young musicians, who with great interest playing in ensembles with the masters. Along with the formed teams (this year the program involved the Michelangelo Quartet), playing in ensembles, the musicians encountered for the first time. This is not always creatively justified – chamber ensemble requires teamwork, understanding each other, the matching energy, but, as shared with the Explorer MK young violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky, if you know a cellist, and a pianist capable of its will to build form, the quintet, which with the others you met for the first time, may sound very good. And he sounded more than good – famous Second Quintet Shostakovich, literally forced the audience to their feet with a flurry of applause. There are many wonderful professional musicians: it is impossible to enumerate all, but one should at least mention the mezzo-soprano Marina Proudinsky, pianists the Flame Mangova and sir andrás Schiff, baritone Matthias Goerne, bass Robert Hall, cellist Alexander Knyazev, violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky. And, of course, the very Elena Bashkirova, which manages to combine the responsibilities of the art Director with participation in concerts as a pianist. These musicians from different countries, but here as-that is especially felt unreliability of national identity. All of them were born and live in an international country called Music.

Program.

This is another specific thing that makes each festival is different. The poster is incredibly rich. Turn again to the statistics: in 10 days full of about 70 compositions, most of them large multi-movement forms, and vocal cycles. The concerts take place in the wonderful atmosphere of creativity and pure music: no show elements, no visualizations, modest, devoid of the catchy “Concerto” costumes of the musicians, the decor is almost a rehearsal. The concept exists but it is internal, not external. Every year – the premiere of a new work by a contemporary composer that the festival orders author. This year – the clarinet quintet called “Yearning” by the Israeli composer Iinuma Bodice. The essay seemed quite normative for today, not to say banal: the grim theme of loneliness of man in a crumbling world. True, but very hard. But just beyond that is the cello Sonata of Chopin, and then the amazing song Sheet, written in verse of various poets, including Lermontov (in Russian!). Free distributed a sheet with the translation of the lyrics into Hebrew. People need to understand what they are listening to.

Building the program, Elena Bashkirova each time thinking “red thread”. This year it is extremely interesting to combine pairs of composers, which is why it is accepted so to combine. Well, for example: Mahler and Bruckner, Hugo wolf and Reger, Shostakovich and Prokofiev, Chopin and Liszt. Connecting them in one concert allows professionals with pleasure and almost a detective passion to understand the differences between these traditionally matched personalities. Well, fans – to feel it on an intuitive level. However, about the fans – especially.


photos of the festival organizers

Audience.

This could be the subject of a separate study. Not so much cultural, as social. You might think that the program set the age limit to 70+. 90% of the audience is elderly people. There are parents with children: mother of 90, daughter of 70. A lot of men-the elderly – the fact that in our country, alas, a rarity. They are all beautiful dressed. Not just smart creative: avant-garde haircuts, asymmetrical tunics, extravagant costume jewelry. To see an old lady in a wheelchair with his hair trimmed buzz cut (because apparently chemo), but painted in bright red, here rule. They live a full life – not survive, not live, and live, enjoying concerts that we paid big by local standards, the amount of glasses of red wine, bottled straight from the barrel. My question: “Well, let’s leave these old men, where to recruit the audience?”, Elena replied simply brilliant: “By the time you get older those who are now over 40 and over 50. So they will come.” It may be actually to perceive this is not the simplest layer of musical art, it is necessary to prepare just as for spiritual transformation, religious enlightenment and all wisdom. After all, if you think about it, after listening to, for example, FA majory quintet of Bruner or a b flat major Trio of Schubert, not so easy to get back to work the Manager on sale of computers. You need to stop, think and meditate… But at this time there are only pensioners.

They listen to professionals. Any cotton between the parts of a full immersion in the complex musical texts: not only Beethoven with Schumann, but Bartok, Schoenberg, Kodaly, Ustvolskaya… the Adequacy of listeners puzzling impression that every Conservatory diploma.

Place

Concerts are held in the building called the YMCA Centre of Christian youth, which incorporates the characteristic features of the Holy Land: a synthesis of the symbols of the three monotheistic religions in kremoobraznogo hall (called Gold), with its huge dome and the stage in the form of the altar space. The Christian cross, Star of David, Arabic ornament, a chandelier in the form of censer with six-pointed stars. The building, built in 1917, the newly renovated and acoustically perfect. One of the elements of the building – a tall tower with a viewing platform, overlooking all of Jerusalem. From the tower hear the bells, performing a variety of music. For example, one evening a gentle chime played a cult Soviet song, “little Blue modest kerchief”.

Information.

The organizers of the festival never intended to shout about it to the whole world. But in Jerusalem there was an organization that was concerned with the broader topic of information support: the Jerusalem Press club. Their main goal is to tell the world that the capital of Israel are not only political newsworthy. The city lives a rich cultural life, in which there are sometimes unique events. As this festival.


photos of the festival organizers

Money.

Natural question: how is all this funded? It’s very simple: from private sources. The state does not participate, and none of this even tends: Bashkirova values the independence and entire detachment from any political commitments. Willing to contribute to private companies – hotels, airlines, transport companies. Serve the festival volunteers – boys and girls in uniform blue festival t-shirts, which sell tickets, hand out programs, ring the bell, announcing the end of intermission. And, of course,are in the unique position of the musicians themselves, for whom the participation in this festival does not contain any pragmatic motive. It does not happen? And here it is. There is motivation for a highly successful and sought-after professionals, to gather in the Holy Land, where once were found the Ark of the Covenant to indulge in pure music, to play music with friends, meet new musicians, share musical tastes. And maybe to create their Ark Is the Ark of the Covenant Music.

Jerusalem.

source

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