Thursday, March 14, 2013

Beethoven for All: Symphonies 1-9

"The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra was founded in 1999 by the late Edward Said and me as a forum for young musicians from all the different countries of the Middle East -- Palestine, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, etc. -- to come together, to have an opportunity to make music together, and in this way to fight against the ignorance that there is of one another. We set out to do the impossible -- a project with Israelis and Palestinians and other Arabs that was not political. Making music together means first and last listening to each other. When two people play together, they have to listen to each other in order to be together, to be on the same degree of loudness. ... Let's face it: the CD market does not need another Beethoven cycle, there are so many wonderful ones ... some more wonderful, some less ... But I think the Beethoven symphonies with the Divan orchestra is, in some ways, different. I would not be so pretentious as to say it is better, but it is certainly different. It is different in the sense that there is a terrific amount of energy (because of the youth of the people), but there is just as much rigour. And the combination of rigour with energy is very powerful. If people get one tenth of the satisfaction that we had when we played this music by listening to it, then I will be happy" (CD notes by conductor Daniel Barenboim).

View catalog record here!


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