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  • Talma Gotteiner

Abu Gosh: A Preview on the Vocal Music Festival 2018

Updated: May 6, 2020

Hi there,

I'd like to share with you information about another major music festival in Israel that takes place twice a year during the two holidays of Sukkot (Tabernacles) and Shavuot (Pentacost). Founded in 1992, it is now in its 27th year and 54th festival. Event details and photos were provided courtesy of Otzar Tarbut PR.

The festival will take place in Abu Gosh between 28 Sept 2018 - 1 Oct 2018. Music director: Hanna Tzur. Producer and director: Gershon Cohen.

Abu Gosh is a local council located midway between Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem. Historically it is located on the biblical site of Kiryat Yearim to which the Ark of the Covenant was brought after its liberation from the Phillistines a fact that led to its sanctification by the Christians. It's rich history led to building of monasteries, churches and later mosques.

The Festival's concerts take advantage of the excellent acoustics and are performed in two churches: the Crusader-Benedictine Church, built in the 12th century, situated in the heart of the village; and the Kiryat Ye'arim Church, situated at the top of the hill, overlooking Abu-Gosh. Additional, more informal performances take place outdoors where festival comers can stroll around, enjoy the views and purchase local goods at the festival stalls.

Abu Gosh Festival Kiryat Ye'arim Church

Photographer: Danny Arad

Hightlights of the Kiryat Yearim Church include the Matthäus-Passion by J.S. Bach. Bach's Matthäus-Passion is one of the beloved compositions. It is considered the shining peak of the art of music and provides a supreme spiritual experience. The Matthieu Passion, like other sublime works of the Church, is based on the harmony of soloists and choirs in four voices accompanied by an orchestra. When these happen in the church of Kiryat Ye'arim with its special acoustics, the experience intensifies. In addition, the special atmosphere and high-level performance are unique to the Abu Ghosh festival.

Also, in the Kiryat Yearim Church, you will find the "Lira" women's ensemble from Bulgaria. The festival's guest ensemble will join the program with the Israeli "Naama" women's ensemble. Other classic masterpieces: Gluck's Orpheus and Aureidice by Keren Hadar as Euridice, the Divine Requiem by Mozart and the Brahms' powerful Requiem. The rich Satabat Mater by Dvorak, a festive mass by Rossini, who is known as the "little one", but is one of the most popular pieces, Bach starring in two other concerts, the first with Mozart's "Festive Evening Prayer" and works by Mendelssohn, and the second concert with the Concerto for two flutes and Cholacon by Teleman. An additional treat includes "Best English music" including works by Purcell, Lennon-McCartney, and Andrew Lloyd-Webber performed by the 'Meitar' Opera Studio singers. A total of ten concerts.

Abu Gosh Festival Meitar Opera Studio

Photographer: Yossi Tzvecker

In the Crypt of the Benedictine Church in the center of the village will be six new concerts with various combinations: 'Katyushka' a concert of Russian songs in the original language, "Havana Nights" with Cuban music, "From Elisabeth to Miki Gavrielov" in a concert most of which is British including compositions from: Purcell, Dowland, The Beatles, Sting and Gabrielov, "Scottish Songs" with works by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven, a concert of ancient Cypriot music and "Que Sera Sera" with songs of Doris Day.

Abu Gosh Festival Doris Day Songs

Photographer: Dana Friedlander

The 54th festival will start on Friday, 28.9.18 and will continue till Monday, 1.10.18.

On Saturday 29.9 and Monday 1.10 (Simchat Torah) between 12: 00-16: 00 a Festival within a Festival will be held; four hours of music in five centers around the church at the same time.

On Thursday, 27.9.18, between 12: 00-16: 00, the largest accordion festival in Israel will take place for the fifth time, with various concerts taking place simultaneously in five locations throughout the Kiryat Ye'arim church compound and in the church itself.

See the details of the artists and works below. Ticket information is at the bottom.

Concerts at St. Joseph Church, Kiryat Yearim

1. Friday / 28.9.18 / 11:00

Gluck – the Opera Orpheus and Eurydice

Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787): Orpheus and Eurydice

Keren Hadar – soprano, Eurydice

Adaya Peled – soprano, Amor

Alon Harari – counter tenor, Orpheus

HaGalil Ha-Elion Choir

Instrumental ensemble:

Violin: Saida Bar-lev – first violinist, Ella Slatkin / Viola: Lotem Beider Ben Aharon / Cello: Chagit Glaser / Flute: Boaz Meirovitch / Oboe: Lior Virot, Fernando Martinez / Bassoon: Gad Lederman / Harp: Marina Fradin / Harpsichord: Iris Globerson / Timpani: Eugene Karasik

Ron Zarhi – conductor

2. Friday / 28.9.18 / 14:00

J. S. Bach – Matthäus-Passion

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Matthäus-Passion, BWV 244

Heinrich Gernot– tenor (Austria), Evangelist

Yeela Avital - soprano

Nitzan Alon – alto

Yoav Weiss - baritone

Daniel Portnoy – bass - Jesus

Kibbutz Artzi Choir

Netanya Kibbutz Chamber Orchestra

Yuval Ben Ozer – conductor

This concert is dedicated to the memory of Moshe Harel

3. Saturday / 29.9.18 / 11:30

The Bulgarian Magic – Bulgarian Female Chamber Choir "Lira", Guests of the Festival from Bulgaria and Israeli Naama Ensemble - Together and Separately

Dobri Hristov (1875-1941): In Thy Kingdom. Soprano: Diana Bancheva

Rada Slavinska (b. 1964): It is truly right

Pierre Certon (c.1510-1672): Je ne l’ose dire

Georges Bizet (1838-1875): Agnus Dei

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921): 1. Tantum ergo. 2. Ave Maria

César Franck (1822-1890): Panis Angelicus

Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) / André Messager (1853-1929): Messe des Pecheurs de Villerville, arr. Pnina Inbar

Lubomir Denev (b. 1951): It is Harvest Time

Dobri Hristov: Frost Has Fallen, Gane

Dimitar Petkov (1919–1997): Moon, You Shiny Nikolay Kaufmann (1925–2018): Little Rose

Philip Koutev (1903–1982): Are You a Tulip or a Hyacinth?

Ivelin Dimitrov (1903–2008): Gankina’s Dance, vocal

Georgi Petkov (b. 1961): Moon

Geshon Prensky (1929-2014): The Girl with Braids (Noa's version), arr. Alexander Katzenberg

Alexander (Sasha) Argov (1914-1995): Their Song, lyrics: Kobi Luria, arr. Pnina Inbar

Peter Lyondev (1936–2018): Old Bachelor

Female Chamber Choir "Lira" – Bulgaria

Naama Female Ensemble - Israel

Svetlana Kardiako Lugova – pianist

Elina Gurewitz - violinist

Galina Popova, Pnina Inbar – conductors

4. Saturday / 29.9.18 / 15:00

Mozart - Vesperae solennes, Bach and Mendelssohn

Jacobus Gallus (1550-1591): Musica Musarum, for choir

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1947): Aus tiefer Noth schrei' ich zu dir, op. 23 no. 1, motet to text by Martin Luther, for soprano, choir, organ and orchestra

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke, cantata no. 84 for soprano, oboe obligato, choir and orchestra

Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984): Yefe Nof, lyrics: Yehuda Halevi

Matityahu Shelem (1904-1975): Shibolet Basade, arr. Avner Itai

Mordechai Zeira (1905-1968): Two Roses, lyrics: Yaakov Orland, arr. Avner Itai

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): Vesperae solennes de confessore, K. 339 for soloists, choir and orchestra

Sara Even-Haim – soprano

Barocameri Ensemble:

Sarah Even-Haim, Netta Aizenbud, Dana Khazma, Tal Malkinson – soprano / Ofra Hurvitz-Znati – mezzo-soprano / Sharon Embar, Enula Yampel, Liat Rockberger – alto / Hiram Amir, Boaz Ben-Sira, Omri Aizenbud – tenor / Aviram Frieberg, Rami Barber – baritone / Or Ben-Natan, Roy Fridman – bass / Enula Yampel – flute /

Shira Ben-Yehoshua – oboe / Eli Heifetz – clarinet / Omri Peled – trumpet / Yaron David, Ariel de Graaf , Uri Lavi, Arielle Adler – violin / Oded Netanel – violin, viola / Yonat Tamir-Kantor – viola / Eyal Malkinson – cello / Ran Ben-Naftali – bass / Bart Berman – continuo

Avner Itai – conductor and music director

5. Saturday / 29.9.18 / 18:00

Rossini – Petite Messe Solennelle

Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868): Petite Messe Solennelle

Efrat Ashkenazi – soprano

Shay Bloch – mezzo-soprano

Ron Silberstein – tenor

Yuri Kissin – bass

Sasha Ivanov – pianist

Yizhar Karshon – organist

Tel Aviv Collegium Singers

Yishai Steckler – conductor

6. Sunday / 30.9.18 / 11:30

Brahms – Ein Deutsches Requiem

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897):

1. Wo ist ein so herrlich Volk, op. 109 no. 3, from Fest und Gedenkspruche for choir a-capella

2. Ein Deutsches Requiem, op. 45, original version for choir, soloists and two pianists

Yuval Oren - soprano

Hemi Levison - bass

Irina Lunkevich, Bruce Levi - pianists

The Jerusalem Academy Chamber Choir

Stanley Sperber – conductor

7. Sunday / 30.9.18 / 15:00

Dvorak – Stabat Mater

Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904): Stabat Mater, op. 58, original version for soloists, choir and piano

Alla Vasilevitsky – soprano

Zlata Khershberg – alto

Joseph Aridan – tenor

Alexey Kanonikov – bass

Eden Agranat Meged – pianist

The Ramat Gan Chamber Choir

Hannah Tzur – conductor

8. Monday / 1.10.18 / 11:30

Mozart – Requiem / Rachmaninov - All-Night Vigil, vespers

Sergey Rachmaninov (1873-1943): From All-Night Vigil, vespers, op. 37, for choir a-capella

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): Requiem, K. 626

Yael Levita – soprano

Shay Bloch – mezzo-soprano

Oshri Segev - tenor

Gavriel Lowenheim – bass

The Tel Aviv Chamber Choir

The Israel Chamber Orchestra

Michael Shani – conductor

9. Monday / 1.10.18 / 15:00

Eternal Bach and the Flutes

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Christ lag in Todes Banden, cantata no. 4

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767): Concerto for two flutes and colachon

Johann Sebastian Bach: Lutheran Mass in A major, BWV 234

Yeela Avital, Adaya Peled – soprano

Ofra Hurvitz-Znaty – alto

Alon Harari – counter tenor

Moshe Haas, Hillel Sherman – tenor

Yoav Weiss, Hagai Berenson – bass

Genevieve Blanchard, Tamar Melzer-Krimolovsky – flutists

Amit Tiefenbrunn – colachon player

Barrocade Ensemble

Yizhar Karshon – conductor

10. Monday / 1.10.18 / 18:00

Purcell, Lennon and McCartney, Lloyd Webber

Henry Purcell (1659-1695): From Dido and Aeneas, the Witches, The Indian Queen, King Arthur

John Lennon (1940-1980) / Paul McCartney (b. 1942): Songs arr. for vocal ensemble

Andrew Lloyd-Webber (b. 1948): From the Phantom of the Opera

Meitar Studio Opera Singers

David Sebba – conductor, arranger and pianist

Concerts at the Crypt

11. Friday / 28.9.18 / 14:00

Katyushka – I Will Return

Russian beloved beautiful songs, in Russian

1. Dugit shata. 2. Two Guitars. 3. Evening at the Harborage. 4. In the Foxhole. 5. Capitan.

6. Flower in the Garden. 7. Bedumiya. 8. At zorem hanahal. 9. Hagidu havraya madua.

10. The beautiful Apple Tree. 11. Boi ima. 12. El hadereh. 13. On the Don's Bank. 14. Katyushka

Shirelle Dashevsky – singer

Uzi Rosenblat – accordionist

12. Friday / 28.9.18 / 16:15

Havana Nights – Cuba

Mario Bauzá (1911-1993): Mambo Inn (instrumental)

Francisco Lomuto (1893-1950): Sombra Nada Más, lyrics: José María Contursi

Armando Manzanero (b. 1935): El Ciego

Cesar Portillo de la Luz (1922-2013): Contigo en la Distancia

Ari Erev (b. 1956): Jump into the Water (instrumental)

Compay Segundo (1907-2003): Chan Chan

Geraldo Pereira (1918–1955): Falsa Baiana Álvaro Carrillo (1921–1969): Se Te Ovlida

Violeta Parra (1917–1967): Gracias a la Vida

Consuelo Velázquez (1916–2005): Besame Mucho

Nocturno Quartet:

Anna Spitz – singer

Ari Erev – pianist and arranger

Gilad Dobrecky – percussionist

Kobi Salomon – saxophone player

13. Saturday / 29.9.18 / 14:00

Elizabethan Love Songs and Songs by Sting, the Beatles, Miky Gavrielov

John Dowland (1563-1626): A shepherd in a shade

Thomas Ford (1580-1648): Faire, Sweet, Cruell

Anonymous: Greensleeves

Henry Purcell (1659-1695): Music for a while

John Dowland: 1. Deare, if you change. 2. Sir John Smith, his Almain

The Beatles – Paul McCartney (b. 1942) / John Lenon (1940-1980):

1. Eleanor Rigby. 2. Penny Lane. 3. Michelle

Sting - Gordon Mathew Thomas Summer (b. 1951): Roxanne

Uri Bracha (b. 1963): Vikos Canyon

Miky Gavrielov (b. 1949): 1. Take Me Under Your Wing. 2. Uf Gozal. 3. You and Me

John Dowland: Come again

David Feldman – counter tenor

Uri Bracha – guitar player, composer and arranger

14. Saturday / 29.9.18 / 16:14

Beethoven's Scottish Songs, Celebrating with Mozart and Haydn

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): 1. Das Veilchen, K. 476. 2. Als Luise die Briefe, K. 520. 3. Wiegenlied

Josef Haydn (1732-1809): 1. Allegro from Trio in G major, H. XV:15.

2. English Canzonetts, lyrics: Anne Hunter: The Wanderer; The Mermaid's song, The Sailors song. 3. From Trio in G major, H. XV:15 - Andante - Finale: Allegro Moderato

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827): Scottish Songs – 1. Dim, dim is my eye. 2. Sunset. 3. Sympathy. 4. Bonny laddie, Highland laddie

Karin Shifrin – soprano

Moshe Aron Epstein – flutist

Myrna Herzog – cellist

Marina Minkin – harpsichord player

Phoenix Ensemble

15. Monday / 1.10.18 / 14:00

Musical Vacations in Cyprus

Anonymous (14th century): Estampie "Tre fontane"

Il codice Franco-Cipriota (1413-1422): 1. "Contre dolour, alegresse et plaisir".

2. "Qui de Fortune". 3. "Aspre Fortune, dure et engingneuse"

Anonymous (14th century): Estampie "Cominciamento di gioia"

Il codice Franco-Cipriota: 1."Qui n'a le cuer rainpli de vraie joie". 2. Danse d'Abroz

Anonymous (15th century): Tourdion " Quand je bois le vin clairet"

Traditional Cypriot: 1. "Tillirkortissa". 2. ""Ta mathkia ta yallourika". 3. "O Dasonomos"

Traditional Greek: "Arhodogios" (Kalamatianos dance)

Traditional Cypriot: "To tragoudi tou gamou"

Traditional Greek: "To kastro tis Astropaleas"

Traditional Thrace/Greece: "Stergios" (Zonaradikos dance)

Traditional Greek/Turkish: "Apo kseno topo"

Traditional Sephardic: 1. "Una matica de ruda". 2. "La serena". 3. "Misirlou"

Ensemble Mezzo:

David Feldman - counter tenor

Doret Florentin - recorder player

Tal Arbel - vielle and viola da gamba player

Nadav Ovadia - psaltery and percussion player

Gideon Bretler - classical and baroque guitar player

16. Monday / 1.10.18 / 16:15

Que Sera Sera – Hollywood and Doris Day's Songs

Richard Rogers (1902-1997): The Hills Are Alive, from The Sound of Music, lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein

Willbur Schwandt (1904-1998) / Fabian Andre (1910-1960): Dream a little Dream, lyrics: Gus Kahn

Mark Fisher (1895-1948) / Joe Goodwin / Larry Shay (1897-1988): When you’re smiling, music and lyrics

George Gershwin (1898-1937): A Foggy Day, lyrics: Ira Gershwin

Bart Howard (1915-2004): Fly me to the moon, music and lyrics

Kurt Weill (1900-1950): My Ship, lyrics: Ira Gershwine

Jimmy McHugh (1894-1969): I’m in the mood for love, lyrics: Dorothy Fields

Antonio Carlos Jobim (1927-1994): 1. Quiet nights, English lyrics: Jene Lees.

2. How Insensitive, English lyrics: Norman Gimbel

Harold Arlen (1905-1986): Somewhere over the rainbow, lyrics: Edgar Yipsel "Yip" Harburg

George Gershwin: Nice work if you can get it, lyrics: Ira Gershwin

Jay Livingston (1915-2001) / Raymond B. Evans (1915-2007): Que Sera Sera, music and lyrics

Revital Raviv – singer

Tal Feder – double bass player

Ari Erev – pianist, music director and arranger


The price for concerts is:

145 NIS for a concert at Kiryat Yearim, except for concerts 2 and 8 for 149 NIS.

95 NIS for the Crypt

85 NIS for the entrance to the "Concerts Outside" festival, 30 NIS for children up to age 6.

The prices on the "Accordion Day" are 85 NIS for adults and 30 NIS for children up to age 6.

Bimot : 02-6237000 or *6226

Bravo: *3221, 0722753221

Tickets are available during the festival at the box office in the churches, cash only.

Happy Sukkot!


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