Negev, Symphonic Poem

Opus: 251 Year: 1954 
Symphonic Orchestra: pic,2,2/eh,2,-4,3,3,1-timp+3-str
15:00 min
Sheet Music
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Live recording, Jerusalem, January 25, 1962:
Marc Lavry, Conductor
The Kol Israel Symphony Orchestra (The Broadcasting Service Orchestra)

Manuscripts: Located at the National Library of Israel Music Department, the Marc Lavry Archive, System Number(s) 990036491990205171, 990036491970205171

In 1953, Prime-Minister David Ben-Gurion resigned from his government position and settled in the Negev desert.
Lavry, in his usual manner, reacted to the event by composing the symphonic poem “Negev” in which he describes the desert, the Beduin nomads and the landscape.

The composition consists of two themes based on the songs Shir Hanegev (Negev Song) and At Moledet (My Homeland):

  • Shir Hanegev (Negev Song): A Beduin folk melody to which Arieh Yechieli wrote lyrics. Lavry heard the song and transcribed the music.
  • At Moledet (My Homeland): Poet Leah Goldberg’s poem composed by Lavry, and which depicts the landscapes of Israel.

Ben Gurion Diary, February 4, 1954

Ben Gurion Diary, February 4, 1954
(Courtesy of the Ben Gurion Archive)

In his diary, the former Israeli Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion noted that he and his wife Paula were at the concert.