“No one concert this group performs is conventional… One cannot deny PHOENIX’s superb musicianship in whatever it tackles. Those of us looking for first class performance will never be disappointed by PHOENIX. It has set new standards for Early Music performance in Israel.” Go Jerusalem
"Ensemble PHOENIX: for the ones looking for baroque programs with originality and quality." Yedioth Aharonoth
Although Mozart referred to the flute as “an instrument I cannot bear”, he wrote wonderful music for it in his symphonies, concertos and operas. His four flute quartets are unique musical gems, displaying great diversity, charm, pathos and also humor! Hear them performed on period instruments by some of Israel's most distinguished chamber musicians: Moshe Epstein (on an original classical flute, built in 1780), Tali Goldberg (violin), Rachel Ringelstein (viola), Myrna Herzog (cello).
The Art of Fugue (Die Kunst der Fuge), BWV 1080, is doubtless one of the masterpieces composed by the genius of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). In this work, began in 1740 and left incomplete, the composer takes a simple theme in d minor and explores it contrapuntally in every possible way. The work has a magic, a mystical, quasi-esoterical charm which is impossible to put into words.
The unusual program takes us into the extravagant Stylus Fantasticus, defined by Atanasius Kircher in the 1650 as “the most free and unrestrained method of composing, especially suited to instruments. It is bound to nothing, neither to any words nor to a melodic subject, it was instituted to display genius and to teach the hidden design of harmony and the ingenious composition of harmonic phrases and fugues." Works by Pandolfi Mealli, Marais, Bach and Muffat.
The Musical Offering is a set of compositions based on a theme devised by Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. Johann Sebastian Bach wrote it in 1747, a few months after his visit to the Royal Palace in Potsdam, and printed it at his own expenses as a present for the king. Together with The Art of Fugue, is certainly one of the landmarks of the musical repertoire of all times.
Continuing PHOENIX's Yvonne Herzog piano series (concerts on her Bluthner 1926 grand piano), Dror Semmel performs a recital dedicated to Schubert & Schumann, featuring the colorful Carnaval. Semmel returned to Israel after 6 years in New York at Mannes College, completing his doctorate at Stony Brook University. He performs regularly in Israel, USA and Europe as soloist with orchestras, in solo recitals and chamber music. He has recently performed with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Israeli Chamber Orchestra and the Orquesta de la Universidad de Alicante . His recordings were broadcast on WQXR in NYC.
This is the title of one of Mozart's lieder, a genre which became very fashionable in the end of the 18th century. During this period Haydn composed some three dozen lieder with keyboard accompaniment and Mozart a similar quantity. Beethoven's wrote nearly as many as Haydn and Mozart together, and masterfully arranged 168 folk songs. Our program presents some of those gems and Haydn keyboard trio Hoboken XV:15. With Karin Shifrin (soprano), Moshe Aron Epstein (on an original classical flute built in 1780), Myrna Herzog (cello) and Marina Minkin (harpsichord, fortepiano).
Haydn's Sun Quartets Op.20 represent a revolution in the history of instrumental composition. The boldness of their structural innovations and the depth of their emotional expression influenced decisively the next 200 years of quartet writing. PHOENIX presents the Sun Quartets on period instruments, in a version for string trio and flute - in the 18th century often interchangeable with the violin.
Following the biblical apocryphal book of Enoch, LA CADUTA DELL' ANGELI depicts the rebellion of angels led by Lucifer, their defeat by Archangel Michael and his army of good angels, and their fall into the abyss. Choirs of demons and angels opposing each other, exuberant dances and poignant chromaticism make this a colorful work and a great entertainment. The program is complemented by a Neapolitan cantata by Cristofaro Caresana on the same theme, and instrumental music by Pietro Andrea Ziani, Giovanni Battista Vitali and Bernardo Storace.
After being severely broken at an Alitalia flight - an event reported in the news all over the world - and after many months of restoration under the able hands of Luthier Shlomo Moyal , Myrna Herzog’s 17th century Lewis viol will be soon back to life. To celebrate its come-back, Myrna Herzog and Gio Sthel (Brazil/Germany) will play the restored Lewis and its twin (cut from the same tree around 1665), in a program for two viols and harpsichord (Marina Minkin) featuring music by Forqueray, Corelli, Simpson, Rameau, Pixinguinha, Dina Smorgonskaya, Günter Krause and others...
It is an experience to hear Mozart's awesome quintet for clarinet and strings performed in the instruments intended by Mozart. In Israel it happened only once, in 1991, so it is about time. The concert is part of the prestigious international Felicja Blumental festival. Gili Rinot, Ensemble PHOENIX's member and virtuoso on historical clarinets, will be in charge of the delightful basset-clarinet. Complementing the program, works by Haydn and Romberg.
Come aboard for the big adventure, the Israeli premiere of The Pirates, a comic opera in 3 acts by by Stephen Storace (1762-1796) to a libretto by James Cobb, performed by Soloists of the Israeli Opera’s Meitar Opera Studio & The PHOENIX Ensemble on period instruments.
Conductor & Music Director: Myrna Herzog, Stage Director: Shirit Lee Weiss, Score Reconstruction: David Sebba.
With its amusing plot and great tunes, The Pirates is considered as Storace’s masterpiece. Performed in English with Hebrew surtitles.