Festival review: Voice of Music Festival Kfar Blum July 30-August 3

There was a qualitative and quantitative abundance of artistic expression to be had at Kfar Blum, and its environs, last week.

August 5, 2013 21:23
1 minute read.
Alma Deutscher.

Alma Deutscher 8-year-old British composer 370. (photo credit: Guy Deutscher)


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It is always a joy to spend a few days at Kibbutz Kfar Blum, amid the easy luxury of the Pastoral Hotel and the verdant and brightly floral surroundings, with the Golan Heights and Mount Hermon as an impressive and imposing topographical backdrop.

But for the past 29 years, this slot of the summer there has been about the classical music endeavor that takes place at the Voice of Music Festival, and there was a qualitative and quantitative abundance of said artistic expression to be had at Kfar Blum, and its environs, last week.

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Thursday’s Early Works at Kibbutz Baram concert featured a delightfully robust reading of Debussy’s Piano Trio in G major, with Shanghai- born, Boston-based violinist Xiao-Dong Wang leading the unfettered way.

Pianist Miri Yampolsky and cellist Orfeo Mandozzi were able and willing comrades in musical exploration. Prior to that, Mozart’s French horn Quintet in E flat major left the audience with smiles on their faces.

The young star of the festival, eight-year-old British composer and multi-instrumentalist Alma Deutscher, was around and about throughout the program.

There was a special childfriendly performance of Deutscher’s opera The Sweeper of Dreams, complete with an explanatory introduction by cellist and festival artistic director Zvi Plesser.

By all accounts, the youngsters in the audience were an educated lot and responded very enthusiastically to the performance by the four vocalists and the string quintet. Alma, and her parents, were mobbed after the show, and many a photograph was snapped. The eight-year-old took it all in stride.


The opera was given a second airing, this time for an adult audience, at the Farewell Concert on Saturday morning which opened with a colorful and emotive performance of Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 1, op. 18. Plesser addressed the patrons prior to the start of the musical proceedings, and also filled the cellist slot in the rendition of the quartet.

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