West eastern Divan Orchestra
Daniel Barenboim conductor
Beethoven symphony nr 6. Pastoral. and Symphony nr 5.
Beethoven rock and roll is the only way to describe it. This was an evening of classical music on the highest level. Everyone knows who Beethoven is and his symphonies are standard in every orchestra. In 1999 Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim formed this orchestra with members from both Palestine, Israel and other Arab countries. Young players from hostile countries who are now thanks to Barenboim great friends. This proves that music can achieve great things. And yesterday was no exception. On a very hot evening the audience in the KKL could cool off to the pastoral symphony in the first act. A symphonic saga of peasents harvesting in the country and sailors battling a storm full of thunder and lightning. But ending in happiness and joy.
The fifth was composed under turmoil for Beethoven. He started to write it in 1804 but put it aside and wrote the third symphony plus his only opera Fidelio. His deafness was increased and the wars of Napoleon was on his doorstep. The symphony was first heard together with the sixth on 22 of december 1808. That concert was over four hours long. Including other works by Beethoven. His fourth piano concerto and his choral fantasy.
Barenboim is a very good conductor and a wonderful piano player. Read our Vienna report.
He is known as a military style conductor and this concert proved it. He waved his baton infront of the players faces a lot and used it more as a sword than a baton. He fenced his way through the evening but created musical magic. The sixth was a bit slow in the first movement but gradualy got faster. The storm was energetic and forcefull as you never heard it before. The last movement was pure warmth and elegance. The fifth was just rock and roll. No question about it.
Beethoven is the master.