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Cellist David Shamban at the center of attention

Enno Neuendorf (Kieler Nachrichten, March 4th, 2008)

Kiel/Flemhude - This weekend, cellist David Shamban gave not one, but two very different concerts in Kiel and surroundings.

At the concert Saturday evening in the Bethlehem Church (Friedrichsort), Shamban presented, together with the young Hungarian pianist Mark Karsai, Brahms' cello sonata op. 99, Rachmaninoff's sonata in G Minor, crossover compositions by the Russian composer Kapustin [sic] and tangos by Astor Piazzolla. The standing ovations lasted nearly a quarter of an hour.

Sunday, in Flemhude's awe-inspiring 11th-century church, violinist Rüdiger Debus and David Shamban offered a rich program of Baroque and Classical works, capably accompanied by Ulrich Keudel (cello) and Daniel Zimmermann (harpsichord).

Early sonatas by Dietrich Buxtehude were played, as well as a cello sonata by Allessandro [sic] Scarlatti, Mozart and Haydn duets, and a caprice for cello by Jean-Louis Duport. Rüdiger Debus played Handel's sonata in d Major, opus 1/13 with abandon; in the larghetto, the music grew so free as to suggest an improvisation.

The most brilliant highlights of the evening were a Handel passacaglia in twelve parts, arranged for violin and cello by the Norwegian composer Johan Halverson, as well as a caprice for cello by Alfredo Piatti. Thunderous applause concluded this concert in which David Shamban was able to show his unheard-of artistic ability in the best light.

 

From Bartok to Ligeti - David and Naomi Shamban give an all-Hungarian concert

Enno Neuendorf (Kieler Nachrichten, April 30th, 2007)

Preetz - [...] Following the Netherlands and Japan, the theme of this year's Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival is Hungary. Festival director Dr. Christian Kuhnt made some opening remarks on the subject, while the father-daughter duo David and Naomi Shamban illustrated what was in store for this year's Festival-goers with various examples of Hungarian chamber music.

As the renowned cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich, aged 80, had passed away in Moscow that same day, David Shamban first paid tribute to his memory with J.S. Bach's Sarabande in C Minor. A whole musical cosmos was heard compacted into a single melody, something only Bach could have done.

Bela Bartoks "Romanian Folk Dances", with their crisp rhythms and bold harmonies, were a result of the composer's in-depth research into native Eastern European music. Bartok's First Rhapsody for violin and piano (1928), later arranged for cello by Janos Starker, is also based on a folk melody.

Zoltan Kodaly's post-Romantic sonatina for cello and piano, a piece of great beauty composed in 1922, shows the influence of Brahms. The duo had other Hungarian treats in store, such as Endre Szekely's arrangements of Transylvanian folk songs, the richly colored sonata for solo cello by György Ligeti, as well as Franz Schubert' "Hungarian Melody" for piano solo, also popular in the version for four hands. The concert ended with several pieces by David Popper, a cellist esteemed by Richard Wagner.

David Shamban never played just on the surface; he dug into the depths of the sonorous possibilities his instrument had to offer.

The 17-year-old Naomi Shamban, a student of Prof. Konstanze Eickhorst in Lübeck, offered her father a beautiful, at times somewhat subordinate, accompaniment. Both relocated to Schleswig-Holstein after having lived in Israel and in the United States [...] .

 

David Shamban turns notes into pure sensuality

Heike Linde-Lembke (Hamburger Abendblatt, March 14th, 2006)

Henstedt-Ulzburg - Big concert for a small town: What cellist David Shamban and pianist Dmitri Tepliakov conjured out of their instruments broke the mold in every respect, not only acoustically. Although every seat in the Kulturkate was filled, this duo deserves even bigger audiences. But establishing oneself in the area of classical chamber music is a difficult enterprise. Thus only a certain few could take part in the enjoyment of these two artists' work. A shame. This duo belongs on bigger stages.

When David Shamban lays his bow on the strings of his cello, he enters another sphere. He immerses himself in the emotional world of the composer whose work he is interpreting, deeply, passionately and full of abandon. The native Israeli who completed his studies in America turns notes into pure sensuality and discovers passion everywhere, as in Cesar Franck's sonata in A Major (originally for violin or flute and piano).

The duo took the whole evening by storm with Xaver Scharwenka's cello sonata in E Minor. Scharwenka was born 1850 in Posen (Poland) and died 1924 in Berlin.

Shamban threw himself into the revolutionary sounds that embody in music all the opposing artistic and philosophical movements of the last turn of the century. The soulful allegro was followed by a moving andante, all performed with utmost expression. In the final vivace, both cellist and pianist intensely savored the extreme change of character in the composition, which at times nearly sounded like jazz.

For Chopin's Polonaise brillante in C Major, Shamban doesn't need the sheet music. He makes the Polonaise dance of its own accord with cooperative Tepliakov at the piano. In this courageous, expressive, sometimes even impetuous playing, one hears the rebellious spirit of Chopin, often forgotten by today's performers.