In a celebratory interview in honor of his birthday, the Israel Prize-winning composer, Dovi Zeltzer, tells which of his works he likes best, how life is in Corona, and why he no longer writes songs • Yehoram Gaon: "He is one of the elephants of Israeli culture"
Love the novelty to "I'm Here."
Composing the musicals "Casablanca" and "Otz Li Gutz Li", songs by military bands and composing the soundtrack for films such as "Operation Jonathan" are just a small part of the work of Dovi Zeltzer, Israel Prize winner and one of the most influential composers in the history of Hebrew music. .
references to other great online birth year as 1932, but according to Seltzer, a mistake in the registry that has never bothered to fix.
"They took me down for a year, I did not fix it and that's how it went on, but this week I'm celebrating 90," he says in a conversation from Rome, where he lives with his partner.
"I have been with my beloved for 52 years, we are on the line between Israel and Italy all the time, but now because of the Corona, we have stayed in Rome," says Zeltzer.
"In Italy, the same tar as in all the places in the world, we move very little, can not travel to distant places, there are no flights. We try to live a normal life, go out to get some air. The restaurants close at 18:00, and in fact in the evenings the city is completely paralyzed. "There are few people in Rome at the moment and in the evening it is completely empty."
Zeltzer was born in Romania and played the piano from an early age.
He immigrated to Israel at the age of 16 as part of the Aliyat Hanoar, studied music and became one of the founders of the Nahal band. He was the band's first musical director and composed its first songs, including "Hora HaHahzot" and "Ya Yerach". In and around the country, he composed musicals and films as well as teaching music.
"Songs are for young people"
when asked which of his canonical works is his favorite he has a hard time deciding.
"There are some things that have established their status such as 'Otz Li Gutz Li' and 'Casablanca' - the musical because of which I knew my best friend and one of the most revered artists by me, Yehoram Gaon. One of the most important things I wrote is a work played not only by The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra but also by the New York and Italian Philharmonic - and this is the requiem in memory of Yitzhak Rabin. I think I am lucky thanks to the people I met and created for them, singers like Yehoram Gaon, Hava Alberstein and Geula Gil, directors like Menachem Golan, Yoel Zilberg and Shmuel Bunim "Producers like Peshanel, poets like Shlonsky, Alterman, Haim Hefer."
Are you up to date with what is happening in Israel?
"I am constantly interested, receiving newspapers. In fact, my heart lives in Israel. I have a family of my brother in Kibbutz Beit Alfa in Israel. I am waiting for the moment when it will be possible to fly to Israel. Until two years ago I had a house in Israel, and I want to buy a house in Israel again."
Do you continue to create?
"I'm an old man, I need to let young people write (laughs). I'm still cooking with something big, a classic piece. As for composing songs - at my age it doesn't make sense. You write songs for today's singers, who will sing them, not to keep in a drawer, and I leave The craft of writing songs for the younger generation. I wrote many songs that accompanied the history of Israel in different periods.
"I really enjoyed the innovations they made to my songs like 'Parent of the Hold' made by the Beehive band and 'I'm here' that suddenly reawakened.
There are also my songs that appear in commercials, like 'We Won't Stop Singing' or 'Good Morning' from 'Otz Li Gutz Li', so these are probably songs that still grab the audience's attention.
I have no children, my children are my songs and my works, these children do the work for me.
"I am not so up to date with the young singers today. Indeed, on every visit to Israel I would go to the theater, the Philharmonic concert and the Israeli Opera. Our cultural institutions are at an international level."
These days the world of culture is almost dead.
"It must not happen. This is our life, our spiritual and cultural life. What has held the people of Israel for thousands of years, with all the problems and persecutions, if not the Hebrew culture and language? It is also my source of inspiration in everything I did, when I see what is happening today - it "It saddens me the most. I have no solution to this situation, but the sages of the nation must sit down and find a solution. A country without culture is a death sentence."
Yehoram Gaon Mefargan
Yehoram Gaon has long-standing friendships and creative relationships with Zeltzer.
"When I look at my musical distance, then Zeltzer and Haim Hefer are the most significant to me," he says.
"70 percent of what I sang in movies, in my solo shows or in musicals is music that Zeltzer wrote for me. For me it is an infrastructure of my work throughout the years. We are good friends of years. I put it in line with our elephants: Moshe Wilensky, Sasha Argov, "Mordechai Zeira and Naomi Shemer. Together with Zeltzer, these are the five geniuses in my eyes."
What do you think is his main contribution to Israeli culture?
"He belongs to a generation of melodists. Today the melody is something that disturbs the rhythm (laughs). His songs are lions. He wrote first with violins and piano. The drums were the last instrument he thought of. Today we start the song from the drums. In Zeltzer's songs it is impossible to hide "Behind drums. His songs are a wonderful and wonderful infrastructure. He brought motifs from where he came from and created something new here, out of nothing."