Review: Homage to Pablo Casals by Amit Peled & the Palm Beach Symphony at the Society of the Four Arts

With a diverse, fun program featuring compositions by Handel, Haydn, Casals and Bruch, the Palm Beach Symphony began its 2015-2016 season at The Society of the Four Arts in mesmerizing fashion with a concert called “An Homage to Pablo Casals.”

Conducted by the Spaniard Ramon Tebar, the evening’s concert featured the feverish, passionate, and jolly Amit Peled, an Israeli-born cellist whose charm and good humor were as infectious as his virtuosity.

Amit Peled

Playing on a 300 year-old cello lent to him by the widow of Pablo Casals, Mr. Peled provided the capacity crowd with not only a scintillating display of raw and delicate energy on the cello, but also anecdotes on how he met Mrs. Casals and how he came to choose the evening’s program, the very same program played by the Catalan Casals one hundred years ago!

Between the delicacy of Songs of the Birds, part of the second half of the concert, and the fluid genius of Handel’s Sonata in G Minor, Mr. Peled is both powerful and delicate behind his antique and beautifully sonorous cello. Mr. Tebar’s leadership was suave, speedy and efficient. Immediately following the intermission the conductor provided the audience with a heart-felt explanation of how both he and Mr. Peled began their careers over a decade ago and played Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C. It was a moving contextual explication that added tremendously to the emotional impact of the night.

With the high society Palm Beachers dressed in their finest gowns and suits, the evening was a smash success for the Society of the Four Arts. Aside from the wonderful performance, concert-goers were treated to an intermission where they could view the exhibition of fine painting and furniture on view at the adjacent gallery. As an added bonus Mr. Peled was signing programs and offering himself up for photos with the rapturous fans!

For more information on future performances visit the official Palm Beach Symphony website.

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