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Dov Seltzer


The dramatic legend "Stempeniu" is based on a novel by Shalom Aleichem and tells of Stempeniu, the legendary Klezmer violinist (a kind of Jewish equivalent of the mythological Orpheus) and of his forbidden love for the beautiful Rochele, who is married to another man. The fact that the narration is in the original Yiddish adds flavor to the experience. A virtuoso solo violinist represents Stempeniu, and through the orchestral score the composer conveys to us a musical panorama of the life of the shtetl Jews, both colorful and sentimental. This is music of exultation mixed with sadness and yearning, in the best tradition of a "Jewish Tale".
The work, written for full symphony orchestra, actor-narrator and solo violinist, was commissioned by Maestro Zubin Mehta, specifically for featuring the performance of actor Shmuel Segal, with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
"Stempeniu" was performed several times in Israel by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, with 15 subsequent performances by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra (IBA) and the Ra'anana Symphonette.
In most of the performances the narrator was Shmuel Segal who narrated both in Hebrew or Yiddish. After his death, there were additional performances with narrators-actors Mike Burstyn and Orna Porath. The solo violinists were Yitzhak Markovetzky, and later Nitay Zori.
The work was also performed by the Opole Philharmonic Orchestra (Poland), conducted by the composer, the actor was Zbigniew Zamachowski, narrated in Polish.
Stempeniu was released by the NMC label, with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, narrator Shmuel Segal (in Yiddish), the late violinist Yitzhak Markovetzky and conducted by the late Shalom Ronly-Riklis.

Publisher: IMI – Israel Music Institute

Shalom Ronli-Riklis, conductor
Shmuel Segal, actor-narrator
Yitzhak Markovetzky, violinist
The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra