A Cherished Musical Figure

A tribute concert to Yehezkel Braun; Anat Sharon, piano; Yaron Haring, trombone; Anat Engelmayer, cello; Katia Mazo, mezzo-soprano; the Maayan Choir, conducted by Anat Morag; the Israel Conservatory of Music, Tel Aviv.

A tribute concert to Yehezkel Braun; Anat Sharon, piano; Yaron Haring, trombone; Anat Engelmayer, cello; Katia Mazo, mezzo-soprano; the Maayan Choir, conducted by Anat Morag; the Israel Conservatory of Music, Tel Aviv

Abundant love flowed at this concert, all of it for a single individual - the composer Yehezkel Braun. It was impressive to see the loyalty the audience feels toward Braun: Young and adult pupils, conductor colleagues, musicians, music lovers - all of them came to the concert held in his honor, to listen to music that is suitable for every ear.

Yehezkel Braun, who as he himself says, "always refused to compose contemporary music," considers himself better suited to have been born in the 18th century. His melodies and harmonies, the superlative vocality that dominates his compositions, the colors of the sound and the formal program - all of this draws inspiration from the classical styles. It forever relies on tradition and heritage, looking back at the past. Even when he tried to adopt avant-garde composition techniques, he once said about himself, the result was classical. After that, he stopped trying.

The concert, tastefully staged by the pianist Anat Sharon, featured a technical and stylistic cornucopia characteristic of Braun. A piano solo, a new sonata for trombone and a sonata for cello and piano, as well as the songs of Yocheved, daughter of Miriam, and two chorus pieces.

Braun, who wrote many instrumental compositions for nearly every possible ensemble, particularly shines in his choral music. His unique authenticity always invokes trust; but in the compositions and adaptations for chorus, such as "Magen Avot" and the Psalm that was sung in the concert, the unique once-in-a-lifetime nature of the music never ceased to move the listener.

Quality of music is gauged by the degree of love its performers feel for it - and judging by the dedication and enjoyment exhibited by Anat Sharon and Yaron Hering, Anat Engelmayer and Katia Mazo, the Maayan singers and their conductor Anat Morag, Braun's compositions will survive every stylistic vicissitude.

The concert, which marked the composer's being awarded the title of "Yakir Tel Aviv" (bestowed on cherished citizens of the city) proved that not only the municipal establishment cherishes Braun, but also those who perform and listen to his music.