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Sep 2007 Journal

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Letter from Israel: Only in Israel…

Dorel Golan. That’s a name to remember. We first heard this talented young pianist at a music festival in Eilat in the winter, where she played Saint-Saëns’s second piano concerto with an aplomb and virtuosity that belied her 25 years. While playing brilliantly, she also managed to inject a sense of fun into the event, causing the audience to quiver with enjoyment.

For an encore, she played a riveting version of Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca from his sonata no. 16, in which the variations and harmonies were quite unlike anything Mozart ever dreamed of, but which once again combined humour and musicality in a way that simply took one’s breath away.

Recently the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra series brought Dorel to Jerusalem, where she played the same concerto and concluded with the same encore. The somewhat more seasoned audience was entranced, once again, by the amazing power and musicality of this wraith of a girl.

When we took our seats near the back of the hall we noticed two gentlemen deliberating in Russian over a camcorder on a tripod. The upshot of the conversation, which was conveyed to us in Hebrew, was that the owner of the camcorder had failed to charge the battery, and hence it would be impossible to record Dorel’s performance for posterity. ‘Never mind’, the other gentleman said, ‘she has it already. We recorded it at another performance.’

This aroused our curiosity, and in response to our enquiry it transpired that the gentleman in question was the pianist’s father. He was, of course, delighted when we told him that we had heard his daughter play some months earlier and had been mightily impressed.

Is this perhaps another of those ‘only in Israel’ incidents?
Dorothea Shefer-Vanson

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