theodosii spassov 88.
(photo credit: )
Called one of the greatest players of the kaval (the Bulgarian national flute), Theodosii Spassov will appear in the November concert tour of the Kibbutz Chamber Orchestra's subscription series. His Gypsy Ensemble of accordion, drum and mandolins will join him and the orchestra in a program which artistic director Yaron Gottfried calls a dialogue between folk and classical.
"This is authentic Balkan village music, with its special sounds and rhythms, but they are not playing by ear - they are experienced musicians who are able to work with an orchestra," says Gottfried. "Spassov appeared with our orchestra five years ago, and we were happy to find out that he could come with his ensemble."
The concert program features pieces for kaval, ensemble and orchestra, composed by Spassov, including improvisations. "The kavalis a very beautiful instrument," explains Gottfried, "and Spassov does marvels with it: One moment it sounds like a Turkish clarinet and the next second it's a flute."
Dvorak's Czech Suite and Bartok's Romanian Dances are also on the program. "These two suites give full expression to folklore influences from the Balkans to the Danube," says Gottfried. "That's the feeling I want to give listeners - the sensation of a panoramic musical picture."
Mixing classical and folk reflects Gottfried's approach to programming. "Great music by classical composers - Spanish, Hungarian, Norwegian, whatever - grew from folk tunes, and I'm not the first to note that." But Gottfried, who became artistic director of one of Israel's oldest orchestras a few years ago, has made it his motto.
It's no secret that orchestras are struggling to keep and attract audiences, and the Kibbutz Orchestra is no different. To keep devoted listeners and bring new ones into the concert halls, Gottfried has refreshed the repertoire, striking a balance between traditional classics and theater, dance and even video art. His approach has proven itself, as new, younger faces have signed on, while most of the old audience has stayed loyal to the orchestra - the only one which brings classical music to remote corners of the country, from Kibbutz Dorot in the Negev to Nahariya in the North.
Upcoming concerts include "Sound, Drama and Dance," featuring two pieces by Estonian minimalist Arvo Part, Fratres and Tabula Rasa accompanied by a solo piece of the amazing Israeli dancer Talia Paz, as well as Beethoven's Fifth. American soprano Alison Buchanan and baritone Leonard Rowe will appear in From Broadway to Hollywood, a program of songs by Bernstein, Gershwin, Nat King Cole and Rogers & Hammerstein, as well as Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. And in "Italian-Spanish Cocktail" under the baton of Spanish conductor Salvador Brotons, the orchestra will host the award-winning Shmuel Elbaz Mandolin Quartet.
But not all the concerts are about crossing genre lines. "I'm not after gimmicks: I'm after authenticity," insists Gottfried. I always try to bring to the stage a real thing."
The Kibbutz Chamber Orchestra under Doron Salomon presents its Balkan music program November 3 at the Givataim Theater, November 6 at Tel Aviv Musem, November 7 at Beit Shean, November 8 at Hahariya, November 10 at Kibbutz Givat Brenner, November 11 at Ein HaShofet in the Yokneam Region and November 12 at Ein HaShoresh in the Netania-Hadera region. For reservations, call (09) 960-4757.