Mandolin star struggles at instances to be heard

Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital.

Music / Avi Avital & Konstantin Shamray. At Llewellyn Corridor, October 5. Reviewed by GRAHAM McDONALD.

ISRAELI mandolinist Avi Avital is touring Australia for Musica Viva and had deliberate to work with Italian cellist Giovanni Sollima.

In the way in which of such issues, covid interfered and Musiva Viva has needed to scramble to search out different accompanists. For this, and another dates on the tour, Avital was joined by Adelaide-based pianist Konstantin Shamray with a program put collectively at quick discover. Shamray is a really wonderful pianist, however simply not restrained sufficient to successfully accompany a solo mandolin.

The live performance opened with a set of Japanese European folks dances organized by Bela Bartok. For this primary work the stability between mandolin and piano was wonderful, however this was adopted by a Mozart Sonata in E minor, initially written for violin and piano. The similarity of percussive assault within the tone of each devices, and extra energetic enjoying from Shamray, meant that the mandolin merely disappeared underneath the right-hand notes of the piano.

Avital continued with a solo mandolin piece, written by the absent Sollima. This explored all of the vary of the mandolin with some spirited enjoying earlier than Shamray returned for a duo instrumental tackle Manuel de Falla’s”Seven Spanish Songs”. Once more, an issue of stability and the intrinsic Spanishness of the melodies simply received misplaced.

To observe this Avital performed a solo association of a Bulgarian dance tune, with a protracted, improvised introduction main into a posh dance tune performed throughout all 4 programs of the mandolin after which completed the live performance with a set of three Israeli dance tunes composed, and/or tailored from conventional music, in 1951 by a Jewish musician who had moved to Palestine within the ’30s. Right here there was much less piano and the stability a lot better.

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An encore of an Israeli pop music about Tel Aviv completed a live performance ,which was general inventively programmed and of a really excessive customary, however simply let down slightly by the musicians not understanding one another nicely sufficient to search out the stability between the devices.

They could do nicely to consider utilizing an electrical piano mixed with the delicate re-enforcement of Avital’s mandolin that was already on stage, anathema although that may be to classical audiences.

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