Time to Celebrate Zubin Mehta: With pianist Yefim Bronfman

זובין מהטה



Friday 14:00


The Lowy concert hall


Charles Bronfman Auditorium, Tel Aviv


Charles Bronfman Auditorium, Tel Aviv


The Lowy concert hall


Zubin Mehta, conductor 

Yefim Bronfman, pianist 

David Radzynski, violinist 

Emanuele Silvestri, cellist 

Christopher Bouwman ,oboist

Daniel Mazaki, bassoonist 

Concert Program

Mozart: Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492
Haydn: Sinfonia Concertante for violin, cello, oboe and bassoon
Brahms: Piano Concerto no. 2

Event Info

The concerts opening the 2019-2020 Season will be the last conducted by Maestro Zubin Mehta, concluding his half century as Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. In tribute to him, the concerts will feature celebrated soloists, close friends of the Maestro and the orchestra.

This festive concert will consist of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro Overture, Schubert’s Third Symphony and Brahms’ Piano Concerto no. 2, with Yefim Bronfman.

The Marriage of Figaro was the first opera in a series of successful collaborations between Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte. Mozart presented a copy of Beaumarchais’ play to Da Ponte, who translated it and, in six weeks, wrote a libretto in Italian, while cutting out the witty satirical elements of the plot (which caused Beaumarchais’ original play to be banned, since it infuriated the aristocrats and allegedly “posed a threat to society”). Only after Emperor Joseph II was convinced that the controversial scenes were deleted, was permission granted to perform the opera.

The brilliant and effervescent Overture to The Marriage of Figaro differs from other works of this genre. Whereas overtures customarily include musical themes from the opera, here there is no relationship between the themes of the overture and those heard in the opera. There is, however, an abundance of spritely and joyful themes, in addition to the two main ones, which wonderfully convey the spirit and character of the opera buffa and the amusing development of plot.

Nine facts about Schubert’s Symphony no. 3:

Schubert began composing it exactly two months after finishing his Second Symphony.

1. The year was 1815; Schubert was eighteen years old.

2. Schubert began composing it exactly two months after finishing his Second Symphony.

3. This was a very prolific year for the composer, in which he composed, among others, two Piano Sonatas and a String Quartet.

4. The Third Symphony shows clear influence of Haydn and Mozart, but one cannot mistake Schubert’s personal stamp in the melodic materials and in the vitality of the accompanying textures.

5. Interestingly, Schubert decided here to forego a slow movement, replacing it with a graceful Allegretto.

6. Also interesting is the contrast in musical character between the minuet and trio sections that comprise the third movement.

7. Despite indications that there was a reading of the Symphony at a gathering of Schubert’s friends, it was premiered only after the composer’s entire oeuvre was published.

8. This happened 32 years after Schubert’s death.

9. The duration of the work is ca. 27 minutes.

It seems that the road to fame and historical success is paved with small and lesser failures. “Mr. Brahms is doing everything in his power to make the piano part very boring…”; “Mr. Brahms’ playing does not meet the standards to which are accustomed in our concert halls…” Those were some of the negative reviews that Brahms received after the premiere of his First Piano Concerto. Perhaps this is why it took more than twenty years for Brahms to return to this genre, but in these years the composer had greatly matured and developed. His symphonic writing had become more sophisticated and he felt that he was molding his own content into the “classical” musical forms. In the period between his First and Second Piano Concertos, Brahms wrote numerous works, including two symphonies (which were highly successful) and his Violin Concerto.

The Second Piano Concerto is the work of a confident composer. Its scope is monumental (50 minutes, in four movements) and it brings to this genre an intriguing dialogue between the pianist and the orchestra. “A symphonic concerto” and “A symphony with obbligato piano” were among the names it received after the premiere, but it seems that Franz Liszt’s description and definition of the Concerto as “a magnificent blend of rationale and emotion” is valid in an historical perspective.

The orchestra in this Concerto is as interesting and varied as the solo instrument. A unique opening by solo horn, spectacular writing for the strings and, especially, lovely solo cello passages in the slow movement. Only a self-confident composer could have created in the midst of a massive concerto a moment that is chamber-like in character, in which the solo instrument sounds almost like an attentive accompanying partner (musicologist Charles Rosen wrote somewhat maliciously of this movement, that “this is the slow movement that Rachmaninov attempted to write all his life”). Interestingly, until the completion of the Concerto, Brahms refrained from public performances as pianist. At the end of 1881 he embarked on a tour of eighteen towns in Germany, Austria and Holland, in which he performed the Concerto as soloist. In the winter of 1882 he performed the work in seven additional towns and only in 1884 did he give the solo part to another pianist, while he (Brahms) conducted. This fact shows the unique way in which Brahms perceived his place in the music world.

Price Range


approx 2 hours including intermission


approx 2 hours including intermission

Price range

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