The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra was founded by Daniel Barenboim and the late Edward Said. Consisting of young, highly talented Israeli and Arabian musicians, it was founded to increase the dialogue between young people in the Middle East and represent the peaceful collaboration of the two cultures. At a standard comparable to the most established orchestras, it combines tonal beauty and transparency with youthful expressiveness, passion and exuberance.
This technically brilliant and incredibly enthusiastic orchestra brings out all levels of Beethoven's 9th Symphony and we listen to Beethoven at his very best: exuberant, emotional, lucid, tender, clear, triumphant … simply magnificent! Needless to say, Daniel Barenboim conducts the outstanding singers Angela Denoke,Waltraud Meier, Burkhard Fritz and René Pape who contribute tremendously to this unforgettable concert The standing ovations are well deserved!
"The performance was radiant, teeming and magnificent." The New York Times
"We are an orchestra against ignorance." Daniel Barenboim
“The young musicians in the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra play with all the mastery and commitment of a great orchestra, and in the last movement of the Ninth they are joined by a fine team of soloists and a quiet magnificent chorus. With his despotic gestures and his Olympian expressions, Barenboim sometimes seems to be caricaturing the great podium maestros of the past. but he gives an almost wholly convincing performance of Leonore No. 3 Overture, and in the Ninth one that overall is powerfully impressive.”
“Watching Barenboim at work…shows just how much he cares about these musicians…A very slow opening to the slow movement retains life and breath, thanks to the conductor's fluid phrasing and the orchestra's attention to details of articulation and dynamics…Michael Beyer's film captures the
13th March 2009
“Beethoven's 9th [is] rendered here with youthful gusto and enthusiasm, accompanied by an equally spirited Leonore Overture No. 3 from Fidelio.”
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