- Radio Times
- Review by:
- Patrick Mulkern
For the first time a non-BBC orchestra takes residency at the Proms: the West-Eastern Divan, composed of Israeli, Palestinian and other Arab musicians symbolically working in harmony. They’ll be tackling all nine Beethoven symphonies during the season, starting live tonight with his first and second (two more tomorrow).
Conductor Daniel Barenboim is interspersing the symphony cycle with works by his friend, Pierre Boulez. They’ve enjoyed a creative partnership for almost 50 years, and Barenboim says of the Frenchman’s innovatory music, it’s about “the capacity of human beings to deal with complexities”.
During the interval, Suzy Klein goes backstage to speak to some of the Divan players and chat with composer and Beethoven-obsessive, Mark-Anthony Turnage.
About this programme
Live from London's Royal Albert Hall, Daniel Barenboim conducts the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in the opening concert of a five-part Beethoven symphony cycle. Founded in 1999 with the aim of bringing together Arab and Israeli players, WEDO has earned a reputation as one of the world's most dynamic orchestras. Tonight, its musicians perform Symphony No 1 in C and Symphony No 2 in D, along with Pierre Boulez's Derive 2, a piece developed by the contemporary French composer over the course of a number of years.