DER GOLEM, Zeks Yiddishe Lieder un Tantz, 1997, for solo clarinet and string quartet
Commissioned by ART WORKs Berlin
Publisher: Ricordi, 1997 | Duration: 15 min.
”Der Golem – Zeks Yiddishe Lieder un Tantz” is an adaption of an original film score for clarinet and string orchestra written by Betty Olivero in 1996 for the silent expressionist film Der Golem-Wie er in die Welt kam directed by Paul Wegener (1920) which was screened during this work’s premiere performed live by Giora Feidman on the clarinet and the Arditti Quartet at the opening of the Silent Film Festival in Vienna in April 1997.
The present abridged version of the original score is intended for concert performances of the music (without the film being screened). This work preserves the main musical themes and motifs that accompany the various characters and scenes in the film from the old Golem legend: The creation of the Golem by Rabbi Low; the love scenes between the Rabbi’s daughter and a young courtier; the destruction of the emperor’s palace; the apocalyptic fire that consumes the town squares, and the crowd praying and shouting for forgiveness and deliverance in Synagogue.
Ecstatic ”Freilich” Kleizmer musical sections accompany the village scenes, while the traditional melody ”Place Me Under Thy Wing” appears as a motto tune at two most dramatic and human moments in the film: The first is when the Rabbi Low succeeds in breathing the spirit of life into the Golem whereupon the Golem opens its eyes and looks at his creator in surprise. The second is to accompany the expressions of warmth and longing that the Golem’s face radiates when a young girl approaches, offering him a flower.