The 520 seat hall was filled, almost to capacity and sparsely but elegantly equipped.
The program opened with Yehonatan Berick and Kristina Reiko Cooper playing the Handel / Halverson Passacaglia for Violin and Cello; a demanding duet that served as appetizer to the great skill savored all evening.
They were joined by Rechtman for Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No.1 in D Minor, Op.49 – a four-movement chamber work whose captivating counter melodies and counterpoint were in this instance showcase to the fine interaction and rapport between performers.
Following intermission, bassist Teddy Kling and violist Saida Bar-Lev completed the chamber ensemble for Franz Schubert’s Quintet for Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello and Double-bass in A Major D. 667, “Trout.” Like the duet and trio preceding this quintet, it was a pleasure both to hear and to watch.
The final piece, Ilan Rechtman’s own A Jazzy Movement for Five, concluded the performance in thrilling and modern distinction.
A traditional venue for chamber music since Meyer Dizengoff’s time (according to the museum's website), the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is a well-suited venue to hear world-renowned Israeli artists. In an auditorium small enough even those farthest from the stage could see the musicians’ expressive faces, the air of intimacy was enhanced between works with short vignettes of the artists’ musical lives and an atypical question and answer session.
Interested audience members were charmed by pictures of Ilan Rechtman the Toddler seated at a piano and enjoyed hearing of the challenges (and joys) of practicing and parenting and much more. Yehonatan Berick and Kristina Reiko Cooper both shared stories of damage done to their beloved instruments (Kristina’s is a 1786 William Forster cello).
The event drew a polished crowd that was largely older but the presentation and these particular works were engaging enough that anyone with little or no understanding of classical music could thoroughly enjoy.
Without membership, tickets were sold for 120 shekels. The series, which will include performances of the American String Quartet, the Ariel Quartet, the Jerusalem Quartet, and the Jerusalem Trio, will continue through June 2010.
Type of Show: Chamber music
Area: City Center (Tel Aviv Museum of Art)
Atmosphere: Concert hall
Type of crowd: older, polished
Age: 50 + (mostly)
Price: 120 shekels