April 5, 2005
Concert with Esther Ofarim
Esther Ofarim performed in concert
on April 5, 2005 in the Semperoper, Dresden. (Website)
Beside her usual songs she also sang Adio Querida.
Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten
Review of a fan:
Ofarim at the Semperoper in Dresden, April 5, 2005
Robert van Leeuwen
was not difficult which spring concert of Esther to pick. Seeing her in the
prestigious Dresden Semperoper would be a double treat. What a sumptuous hall it
is. And then to see Esther’s name among the likes of Ravel, Wagner and Mozart.
Justice at last!
hall was filled up very well considering Esther’s virtually non-existent
career in East Germany. Esther came on dressed casually in pants wearing high
heels. Maybe the impressive hall drove her to a more theatrical performance than
normally. As the evening progressed she re-found her unique simplicity. I loved
almost all of the songs. Here are some personal notes.
to hear ‘Bird on a wire’ in the beginning of her recital. Usually she sings
it towards the end. Esther’s phrasing was impeccable and compelling.
‘Bird’ also gained from the return of Albert Sommer on base-fiddle. He
provides just the right underpinning support to Yoni’s piano and Michael’s
violin. Irrespective of who is playing, I much prefer the base to the saxophone,
which is really too dominant for this kind of chamber music.
the ever beautiful ‘Layla, Layla’, Esther said “Ein Lied für
Jerusalem”. She delivered it purely and vulnerably. I can’t think of anyone
else singing ‘Jerusalem’. Esther has made it completely her own. The
audience responded with a long applause. When do we finally get the studio
recording with the London philharmonic on cd? All my vinyl copies are wearing
highlight for me of the second half was clearly ‘Adio, Querida’, which I had
recently heard in Frankfurt for the first time. It is Esther’s talent to make
a good song sound even better than it is, making the composer probably wonder if
he had actually written that! It is precisely this kind of sad lyrical ballad,
which makes Esther stand out from any other artist I know.
concerts regularly these last few years for a mainly German audience, I’m
still surprised to only hear her sing in German at the very end of her recital.
She sounds so good in German. Rather than some German verses divided over two
encores, I would love to hear her sing at least one German song in its entirety
in her official program. Maybe a song from Ghetto would be too difficult out of
context. But what about a song from her collaboration with Eberhard Schöner, or
her ‘simple makes perfect’ version
of ‘Der Sommerwind’. It would delight me as many others, I’m sure.
to hear Esther do all of her three Yoni songs. Their musical talents are clearly
complementary and I hope they will continue to inspire each other for a long
time to come.
Every night when the sun goes in
Bird on a wire
Ten li yad
In Germany before the war
She’s leaving home
Intermezzo (instrumental & vocal)
Dma’ot shel malachim
Over the rainbow
Ma omrot einayich
Moon of Alabama
Me’emek (Shtu adarim)
Morning of my life
Guten Abend, gut’ Nacht
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