Recent News
12.06.16
Georgia Jarman, Wynton Marsalis, James Conlon, Giancarlo Guerrero, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Eric Jacobsen, Mariss Jansons, Ludovic Morlot, David Robertson, Gene Scheer, Gil Shaham, Yo-Yo Ma, Branford Marsalis, Anoushka Shankar, Mason Bates, Silk Road Ensemble , Nashville Symphony , St. Louis Symphony Orchestra , The Knights , Patti LuPone, Ian Bostridge, Nathan Gunn, Thomas Hampson, Lucas Meachem, Luca Pisaroni
2017 Grammy Nominees
Grammy Awards
11.30.16
Shai Wosner
Review: Shai Wosner's Haydn/Ligeti
FanFare
11.28.16
The TEN Tenors
The TEN Tenors Launch Holiday Tour, Support St Jude Children’s Hospital
11.26.16
Branford Marsalis
Branford Marsalis dazzles in CSO's American program
Cincinnati Enquirer
11.26.16
Robert Spano
SLSO presents a perfect program for a holiday weekend
St Louis Post-Dispatch
11.24.16
Storm Large
Large, Hudson Shad, BBCSO, Gaffigan, Barbican
The Arts Desk
11.22.16
Vienna Boys Choir
The Beloved Vienna Boys Choir to Perform “Christmas in Vienna” at Carnegie Hall
11.21.16
Calidore String Quartet
CMS reflects enjoyably on Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Jewish themes
New York Classical Review
11.20.16
Alisa Weilerstein
Alisa Weilerstein has audience on a string with her cello magic
Daily Telegraph
11.20.16
Evan Rogister
Evan Rogister: Marriage of Figaro Reviews

News archive »

Gifted brother-sister duo Gil and Orli Shaham offers enchanting evening of classical music

02.14.08
Orli Shaham, Gil Shaham
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Music often sounds best when musicians appear to be enjoying themselves. Something about enthusiasm mixed with seriousness adds up to a more satisfying listening experience. One can only assume that violinist Gil Shaham and pianist Orli Shaham had a ball in the backyard when they were growing up. Their infectious sense of give and take hasn't waned. Onstage, the gifted brother and sister play off one another as if they are engaged in the most enchanting artistic games.

The Shahams returned to the Cleveland Chamber Music Society's series Tuesday at Fairmount Temple Auditorium in Beachwood for a program that was involving from first note to last. The violinist, familiar from solo appearances with the Cleveland Orchestra, was in characteristic polished, warm and virtuosic form. Ditto his sister, a pianist whose clarity and elastic phrasing complements her brother's musical personality.

An air of equality pervaded Tuesday's concert. Neither Shaham dominated. They deferred to one another when necessary and made sure that shared material sounded crucial.

Their program moved chronologically from the late 18th century to the mid-20th century, starting with Mozart's Sonata in D major, K. 306. The piano is as crucial in the musical conversation as the violin, with a keyboard cadenza in the finale that leads to one of Mozart's teasing, never-ending endings. The Shahams gave the piece an expressive and charming performance, with effortless interplay to keep the score in compelling motion.

Two movements from Faure's "Pelleas et Melisande" suite, including the famous Siciliana, were opportunites for the violinist to play at a hush and the duo to revel in silken sonorities.

More impressionistic pictures arrived in Szymanowski's "Mythes," Op. 30, three movements in which the Polish composer's coloristic suavity, poetic vibrancy and harmonic imagination are at a peak. The Shahams played the collection as an outpouring of multi-hued events, from delicate to dramatic.

Bartok is clearly the composer of the week in Cleveland. His one-act opera, "Bluebeard's Castle," is on the Cleveland Orchestra's program tonight and Saturday. The Shahams immersed themselves in Bartok's Rhapsody No. 2, an explosion of gypsy music rooted in the Hungarian folk traditions. The violinist dug into his strings, using his remarkable bow arm to articulate effect. The pianist was a quicksilver collaborator.

Prokofiev's Sonata No. 2, Op. 94a, comes close to summarizing the Russian composer's style, its endearing, moonlit, caustic and exuberant activity hypnotizing the ear. Like all of the Shahams' playing Tuesday, their Prokofiev penetrated beneath surfaces to communicate the music's spirit and mind.

Their encore was Faure's "Claire de lune," shaped with elegant simplicity.