Droni. Georgia. 03. 03. 2011


Manana Khvedelidze

‘…a high quality celebration of wonderful sounds, ability and power… Music from somewhere else…’, – this is an extract from Jewish press which has been dedicated to a renowned vocal Ensemble ‘Rustavi’.

By the series of the concerts held in Israel the society has been acquainted with the world composition school’s outstanding artist, Georgian Jew presently working in Israel, Joseph Bardanashvily’s work  ‘Time to Love’, chamber orchestra ‘Camerata’ and the Ensemble ‘Rustavi’.

Specially chosen elite audience and listener, which nowadays is respective estimator and definer of the taste of the culture of its country was looking forward with great interest to a long term tour of an outstanding ensemble of Georgia to Israel.

Both, – by the performance of the professional composer’s composition and through the centuries-old sacred hymns and folk song Ensemble ‘Rustavi’ had to glorify Georgia. The programme chosen by the Artistic Director of the Ensemble Anzor Erkomaishvili and the singers’ perfect performance inspired the quite restrained audience (the singers were specially warned about this by the organizers).

‘This was the triumph of sounds that have never touched our ears accustomed to the eastern music’- writes a well-known expert in music and critic Iosi Shipman, – first of all, I have to mention the quality of performance. Ensemble ‘Rustavi’s pianissimo from almost murmuring depths to the peaks of fortissimo is the clear evidence of the fact that there are the sounds which are so strong that even a concert hall is too small to hold them. You can hear the perfect command of voice in the performance of Georgian tenors. What we heard is an exceptional art, the part of the oldest culture, which from the very beginning forever remained in the hearts of thousands of artists’.

There were held 9 concert evenings in 7 cities of Israel. Our countryman, glorious Joseph Bardanashvily’s conducting of his own composition in famous concert halls was strengthening interest to the work  ‘Time to Love’ created on a liturgical text and was adding special charm to it. This fact enabled the journalist to say in a nice way: ‘Bardanashvily’s special conducting combining body gestures and on-going ‘flirtation’ with the audience swept away the audience and involved them in this wonderful musical composition’.

Visiting of the sacred shrines of the Holy Land was like a realized dream of the participants. ‘Rustavi’ covered the Saviour’s Way on foot, prayed at the tomb and sang church hymns. Georgian sacred hymns were also sung in the Jvari Monastery, at the newly restored fresco of Shota Rustaveli.

One more interesting fact in the creative biography of the Ensemble ‘Rustavi’: my colleague and friend, a journalist presently working in Israel Marina Shaoshvili and Joseph Bardanashvily arranged a meeting of the singers with today’s outstanding maestro, conductor Zubin Meta. When he listened to one of the masterpieces of Georgian musical thinking ‘Khasanbegura’, he didn’t hide his inspiration and talked about an exceptional performing mastership of the Ensemble ‘Rustavi’.

‘We’re listening to the art which is very old, but hasn’t lost its charm even at least. In order to put my ideas in a word, I’ll say: they sing so wonderfully only in Georgia!’ – Iosi Shipman. (The newspaper ‘Haaretz’, Israel, 27. 1. 2011).

They hope to see the Ensemble ‘Rustavi’ in Israel again.