Classical passages

This year’s Voice of Music Festival in the Upper Galilee focuses on the concept of time.

Zvi Plesser (photo credit: Mazim Reider)
Zvi Plesser
(photo credit: Mazim Reider)
The annual Voice of Music Festival in the Upper Galilee, also known as Kfar Blum Festival, takes place this year July 23 – 28. In the last three days, July 26 – 28, there will be an additional festival in the same location with programs oriented for the entire family.
The chamber music festival, which was founded by pianist and music events organizer Idit Zvi, is now headed by Zvi Plesser who, in addition to being one of this country’s leading cellists, organizes musical events that are attractive to the general public.
Last year’s festival was a great success. A mini-festival that took place this spring at the same location and served as a preview for the summer event was enjoyable and intriguing.
There is no doubt that those who attend the Upper Galilee festival this month will not be disappointed either.
“Most of the chamber music repertoire, the important pieces that are loved by the audience, already exist, and there’s nothing much that we can really add or change about it,” says Plesser in regard his approach to creating the festival programs.
“But we can play lesser-known pieces, as well as those that were recently composed.
And above all, I really enjoy presenting familiar pieces in a slightly different angle. It makes us think about them in a new way.”
Last year the programs were mostly built around the concept of metamorphosis: theme with variations.
“This year I have opted for the concept of time in music. On one hand, time is close and important to everybody, while on the other hand nothing but music can capture this elusive element,” he says.
“More often than not, I perceive entire musical pieces or a movement as a drama that unfolds within a period of time. Like life, it starts, lasts and comes to its end.”
Plesser goes on to says that there are many intriguing aspects about the concept of time in music.
“It could be a piece that has to do with a clock, like a piece written by Mozart for a mechanical clock or The Clock Symphony by Haydn and others. But there is also physical time, like hours of the day, so we have a Night Concert in our program, which features Schubert’s Night Flute Concerto or Mozart’s Little Night Music or Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night and other pieces that show what night meant for each of these composers.”
Plesser notes that memories are also a form of time.
“Memories are our past,” he says, “and under this category are pieces based on travel, like Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence or Dvorak’s American Quartet.”
But time not only flies, it can also be endless, “like in Schubert’s Quintet or Messian’s Quartet for the End of Time. And there also is time that exists and does not exist – that of fairy tales,” he says.
Musing on the theme of time in music, Plesser says that composers who looked back at the music of the past also related to the concept of time in their own way.
“A neo-Baroque concerto grosso by Bloch or Serenade, a new piece by Yan Radzinsky, as well as pieces by Brahms – at least that is how I always perceive them,” he says.
In addition to that are two special productions – The Fairy Queen by Purcell “with excellent singers and David Stern as conductor. In many ways, the piece has a lot to do with time. Also Savitri, an amazing little-known chamber opera by Gustav Holst, speaks about death,” he says.
This is just part of the rich and intriguing program that will be performed by fine Israeli artists, many of them building impressive careers abroad but never miss an opportunity to perform at home.
Among the international stars is one of the world’s leading musicians, flutist Emmanuel Pahud, who will play pieces by the Bach family.

For more details, visit For reservations: (03) 604-5000