By Inna Rogatchi, Times of Israel—
JERUSALEM, MEHTA, MAHLER AND HATIKVA
Beneath the Music
Those are quite difficult moments, the moments of farewell. Especially if people are tight on in a family-like motto for the span of two generations. No wonder that the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, brilliant and one of a kind, to me, took three months to depart with Maestro Mehta who led it for half of the century. Over the summer 2019, we saw the international farewell tour of the outstanding musicians with their outstanding conductor – and much more to that, and every time somebody in the vast orchestra had tears running down. No wonder.
But on October 20th, 2019, during the very last concert of that so very apt and emotional, so millisecond-meaningful The Mehta Farewell Festival in Jerusalem, everyone in the audience, in the orchestra, next to the screens of the live world-wide broadcast of the concert by Medici TV, struggled tears back.
It was so much more special details and nuances in all the process of that emotional farewell. The great Maestro’s illness two years back, his absence from his orchestra which he always calls his family, and means it; his 8-month treatment in Los-Angeles; his return to his family in Jerusalem in October 2018, just a year ago – the short video on that moment is priceless.
The tissue of human relations the barometer of human intentions has made this story unique. It is also a special lesson of dignity and professionalism to so many of us. Just have a look on the conduct of the Maestro Mehta’s successor, talented , modest and respectful Lahav Shani. It is absolutely right and great that a young Israeli conductor will work and raise with this unique orchestra, the best decision possible, indeed.
So, staged for three months, and coming to its crowning end with the brilliant three last concerts, Mehta’s farewell was coming to its last mile.
And what a concert it was! We all knew that it was a historical event, the musicians knew, both Maestro Mehta and his wife did, and all this very high-voltage emotionally super-charge could make it difficult and somewhat stiff. But not in Jerusalem. And not with this orchestra. Continue Reading…