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Israel Tour

Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Yuri Temirkanov have returned from the first-ever tour to Israel: They performed Shostakovich's "Leningrad" Symphony in Tel-Aviv on Victory Day.

On May 9 and 10, for the first time in history, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra performed in Israel: concerts conducted by Yuri Temirkanov were held in Tel Aviv and were dedicated to the Victory Day and the 70th anniversary of the independence of Israel.

On May 9, the orchestra performed the Seventh "Leningrad" Symphony by Dmitry Shostakovich - one of the greatest scores of the 20th century, dedicated to the heroic deed of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War. For millions of people around the world, this piece is a symbol of greatness of Victory over fascism.

May 9th concert attracted more than two thousand listeners, including many veterans, held in the largest concert hall of Tel Aviv, Geikhal a-Tarbut. The ovation was deafening, the conductor was repeatedly called back to stage.

"One of the brightest and most touching recollections of this trip for me was meeting a listener whose family kept the concert bill of the" blockade "premiere of the" Leningrad "symphony for more than seventy years," said Yury Temirkanov. “The man intentionally came to Tel Aviv from another city to listen to our performance and to hand me this precious family relic. Of course, I was very touched by the warm reception of the audience and the emotional responses that followed after the concert. A great piece of luck for me was reuniting with my old friends, whom I have not seen for many years. "

Lina Goncharskaya, the music columnist, shared her impressions of the concert: "Temirkanov performed a certain ritual that has stirred up our personal emotions that were very deeply hidden, by the way; and here the turn of the irrational has come. For the most important thing for Temirkanov is music in its purest form, rather than the stratification of meanings and interpretations from the outside. "

The famous TV presenter Eva Levit also wrote after the concert: "My grandfather Mordechai, after whom one of my sons was named, died in the first blockade winter. Grandmother and children managed to escape, and then were among the first volunteers who returned to the city to disassemble the debris after the bombing. Probably, that is one of the reasons why the "Leningrad" Symphony of Shostakovich has always been considered in our family a particularly significant work. My parents met at a concert in the Leningrad Philharmonic to the strains of the orchestra. It was love at first sight <...>. Perhaps, that is why the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra was considered in our family a very significant musical collective. Exactly 30 years ago I began to attend the philharmonic society myself and listen to symphonic works under the triumphant strokes of Temirkanov. Probably, again, that's why I went to the performance of his orchestra in Tel Aviv today. And it was wonderful. And all thoughts about the past have merged into one tangle and into one tact, and into the spirit of C major <...>. Temirkanov's hands trembled in flight, and each finger lived separately. But most of all this time, I was astonished not by them, but by the hands of my neighbor. He was clearly an Israeli of the oriental descent, brown as a clay jug. His fingers seemed too thick and clumsy..until the outpour of Shostakovich's sounds. And then the brown fingers also came to life. And for almost an hour and a half they rendered/ reproduced the "Leningrad" symphony on the knee. In time with the orchestra, and in spirit. And on the stage the horse's hair of the bows frayed, once again having lived the heat of merciless cadences, and fluttered in the air. In time with and in the spirit of Temirkanov’s fingers and the fingers of my neighbor. "

On May 10, under the guidance of Yuri Temirkanov, several masterpieces of Russian music were performed: the Rimsky-Korsakov Symphony Suite "Scheherazade" and Concerto No. 3 for piano and orchestra by Sergei Rachmaninov. The soloist was Nikolai Lugansky, one of the most brilliant pianists of his generation.

Prior to the trip, Yuri Temirkanov noted that he himself had chosen a program for performances of the orchestra in Israel: "You know, once I saw on television the celebration of Victory Day, which was held in Tel Aviv, I saw a vast number of participants in the war - with military medals, it very much touched me. And I remembered how we played Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony at the UN - and there were also all our emigrants, wearing their military medals there - it was also very, very touching. The memory of their achievements and acts of bravery is extremely important. I also chose the two other works that we performed in Tel Aviv because I am already at that age, when I have the opportunity to conduct only what I like, and I like this music very much. "

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