Monday, May 26, 2014

Early music at the 42nd Abu Gosh Vocal Music Festival

The 42nd Abu Gosh Vocal Music Festival will take place from June 3rd to 7th 2014. Concerts will take place in two churches in Abu Gosh – the spacious Kyriat Ye’arim Church, sitting high up on the hill and the Crypt – a small, 12th century Crusader Benedictine church set in a magical, exotic garden in the lower part of the town. The Abu Gosh Festival has existed in its present form since 1992. People come from far and wide to attend concerts, picnic in the open, buy trinkets at the outdoor stalls set up near the Kyriat Ye’arim Church and relax in the tranquil surroundings of the Jerusalem Hills. The festival features many Israeli groups and soloists, also hosting some overseas artists. As of 1995, Hannah Tzur has been musical director of the festival. Ms. Tzur, a contralto who has soloed with major orchestras and conductors in Israel, has directed the Ramat Gan Chamber Choir for 19 years.

The 42nd Abu Gosh Vocal Music Festival will present a variety of music and styles, from Morley Pergolesi, to Bach and Händel, from Romantic music to Slavic songs, Villa-Lobos, music of Leonard Bernstein, Nat King Cole, Joan Baez and Paul Simon as well as a work of Israeli composer Eyal Batt. Here is a brief outline of some works early music aficionados might want to hear. Concert no.3, performed by the Ramat Gan Choir, conducted by Hannah Tzur, will include works by Pergolesi. Concert no.12 “I Saw a Bird of Infinite Beauty- On the Wings of Poetry” will feature the Melzer Consort – Michael and Yael Melzer and Ezer Melzer – and soprano Ye’ela Avital. Their program will include works of English composers Thomas Morley, Richard Nicholson and John Bennet. The Israeli Vocal Ensemble (music director Yuval Benozer) joined by Ye’ela Avital will present works of Händel, Bach and Corelli in Concert no.5. The festival’s visiting choir – the very fine Nederlands Kammerchor (conductor Risto Joost) - will include Bach’s Cantata no.4 in Concert no.6. Concert no.10, featuring the Tel Aviv Chamber Choir (conductor Michael Shani) and the Barrocade Ensemble will include Pergolesi’s “Magnificat”. The festival will sign out with the Upper Galilee Choir (conductor Ron Zarhi) and soloists in Händel’s “Messiah” (Concert no.11).

Folk songs mostly have early origins and there will be plenty of those to hear in the various concerts throughout the five days of the festival.

No comments: