of the concert in Frankfurt’s “Alte Oper”, on January 28, 2005
me, attending a concert by the unique Esther Ofarim is always something
to look forward to, but Esther’s first concert of 2005 exceeded my
must be honest and admit I didn’t expect to be blown away after seeing
her in Dortmund in October last year. During that
particular performance, it was obvious poor Esther was still
suffering from a cold and thus wasn’t her usual self in terms of the
quality of her singing. Moreover, the acoustics in Dortmund’s
“Konzerthaus” left something to be desired, which also worked
against Esther’s magic.
she more than made up for this in Frankfurt, where she was welcomed by
an even larger audience than during her last stint here almost 2 years
ago. She was relaxed and had a wonderful, warm rapport with her audience
all through the evening, talking between songs and reacting to the
audience in a way she has probably never done before.
singing was superb, but there was also a new “playfulness” with
regard to the treatment she gave her songs: She sometimes played around
with the melody and the lyrics of a song without deviating too much from
the way the song was written, which made for some very exciting
interpretations of familiar songs. This was especially effective in her
opening numbers “Oh Waly, Waly” and “Every Night”, which
benefitted greatly from her relaxed, almost jazzy readings.
took us quite by surprise by presenting 3 songs most of us hardcore fans
had never heard live before – one song was even completely new to her
introduced “Adio Querida” by saying this was a Ladino song about
bidding farewell to a beloved one and that it would be the first time
for her to sing it. A beautiful, aching melody
I hope she will put on record one day!
other 2 songs were “Jerusalem” and “I only have eyes for you”.
former title was sung both in English and Hebrew, a great song that
never fails to bring tears to my eyes, because of its haunting melody
and lyrics. Esther more than did the song justice with her crystalline
voice and moving interpretation.
only have eyes for you” is an entry from “The Great American
Songbook”, a standard from the 1930s when many of America’s greatest
songs were written. To my
knowledge, this song hasn’t been part of Esther’s repertoire since
her concert tour of Israel in the late 1980s. It was therefore quite a
surprise to hear her revisit this song which was effectively
complemented by Eli Degibri’s jazzy saxophone solo. A gently swinging
rendition that put her right up there with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald
and Sarah Vaughan!
was an unforgettable evening! What better way to start the new year than
with the extraordinary Esther Ofarim, who I hope will continue to
perform for many years to come. Bravo and welcome back, Esther!
Jerusalem (English and Hebrew version)
Germany Before The War
I Only Have Eyes For You
(performed by Yoni Rechter, Michail Paweletz and Eli
Bird On The Wire
Shir Eres / Dodo l’Enfant Do
Hanoded (Ziunionei Haderech)
Adarim (Me Emek VeGivea)
Mad About The Boy
Morning Of My Life
Aviv / Gruß