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Dov Seltzer

The Gold of the Ashes


A Rhapsodic Poem for Symphony Orchestra, Mezzo-Soprano and Children's Choir
The work was commissioned by the Committee for the Commemoration of the Expulsion of the Spanish Jewry, headed by Israel's former President, Mr. Yitzhak Navon, commemorating 500 years to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain.
The Gold of the Ashes was premiered by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra IBA as part of the 1992 Liturgica Festival, with mezzo-soprano Mira Zakai and the Ankor Children's Choir, conducted by the composer.
This is essentially a dramatic-programmatic work, which conveys the rich melodic material of the Spanish Jewry to the concert hall. The abundance of folkloric melodies and texts depict the saga of the Spanish Jews from the Golden Age, through persecution, the expulsion and burden of exile, and eventually to salvation: the opening of gates of other countries (mainly those under the Turkish Empire) and the vision of arriving to the Holy Land, Eretz Israel.
There is no attempt in the work to document the history of the Spanish Jewry or to point an accusing finger at the Inquisition or the Spanish Catholic monarchy. The work is a personal, loving, yearning and nostalgic experience – not necessarily for the country of Spain or for the beloved homeland, but rather for the Jewish Spain, the culture, poetry, fragrances, ambiance, customs and melodies. This is a love song of sorts, with an amiable smile, but also with suffering and desperation. It conveys yearning and tears, hope and the ability to survive. The fire did not succeed in consuming all these treasures; they live eternally in our memories and hearts, like "The gold from the ashes".

Publisher: IMI – Israel Music Institute


Dov Seltzer, conductor
Mira Zakai, mezzo-soprano
Ankor Children's Choir
Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra (IBA)
Live recording - 22.12.1992

THE GOLD OF THE ASHES – A Rhapsodic Poem
In commemoration of 500 years of expulsion of the Spanish Jewry.