“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.
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.
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...