Russian-Israeli pianist Elena Bashkirova directs this 2016 edition of the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival, bringing together big names from the international scene—like Sir András Schiff, Kirill Gerstein, and Baiba Skride—and exciting young talents, all working in perfect harmony to offer a sumptuous banquet of chamber music!
Three pairs of violins, violas and cellos open the program with sparkling clarity in the Scherzo of Brahms’s little-known masterpiece, the String Sextet No. 1. Flutist Emmanuel Pahud’s enchanting interpretation of the first movement of Schubert’s “Arpeggione” Sonata then gives way to Dvořák’s passionate Piano Quintet No. 2, another rarely-performed gem expertly blending inspired melodies and explosive moments, a trademark of the great Bohemian composer.
Next, Sir András Schiff and Kirill Gerstein offer a flawless rendition of Busoni’s Fantasia contrappuntistica, a work inspired by Bach's The Art of Fugue that may be a new discovery even for many piano fanatics! Two pieces by Felix Mendelssohn follow—well-known but still surprising, thanks to the poetic reading of the D Minor Trio’s final Allegro and the electrifying Presto from the beloved String Octet in E-flat—with a poignant interlude between the two, a movement from Beethoven’s gorgeous Quintet for Piano and Winds.
With Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Aki Saulière, Gérard Caussé, Béatrice Muthelet and Clemens Hagen – Bel-Air Festival 2010