“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
"A piece of history, in the history of baroque concerts in Israel: "Il Diluvio Universale", the wonderful Sicilian baroque oratorio by Michelangelo Falvetti (1642-1692) appeared for the first time in a public concert in Israel, signed by five of the finest Israeli singers and Ensemble PHOENIX conducted by Myrna Herzog". Hagai Hitron, HaAretz.
"Myrna Herzog has once again thrilled festival audiences, introducing them to a little-known and rare Baroque treasure that recounts a well-known Bible story with freshness and magic.” Pamela Hickman
The year of 2017 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of José Maurício Nunes Garcia (1767-1830), the most important Brazilian colonial composer. His works, never heard in Israel, got a new dimension with the arrival to Brazil of the Portuguese Royal Family in 1808, who would rule Portugal from Rio de Janeiro.
Our program focuses on his famous 1816 Requiem composed for the Mother-Queen Maria I, complemented by works of Marcos Portugal, who shared with José Maurício the post of chapel master, as well as in some popular music of the time.
Those works will be performed on period instruments, including classical clarinets, flutes, bassoons, natural horns , early timpani and period string instruments.
What happens when unrestricted love – Divine and human - faces levity and infidelity? From the admonitions of Jeremiah, through lightheartedness and betrayal, to the delighful flame of true love.
Music by Marcos Portugal, the Marcello brothers Benedetto and Alessandro, Joseph-Hector Fiocco, Ronaldo Miranda and Michel Pignolet de Montéclair, including an original baroque setting of Maoz Tzur in homage to Chanukah.
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.
Continuing PHOENIX's Yvonne Herzog piano series (concerts on her Bluthner 1926 grand piano), Dror Semmel performs a recital dedicated to Franz Schubert last works. 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.
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.