Musicians call Ode to Joy and Europe rally tonight in Trafalgar Square

Musicians call Ode to Joy and Europe rally tonight in Trafalgar Square


norman lebrecht

June 24, 2016

If you care about the state of the nation and our pleace in the world, get your instrument down to the Square tonight at 10pm for an Ode to Joy and Europe.

The facebook site is here.

violinist trafalgar square

Be there if you can.

Watch video here.


  • pooroperaman says:

    Ah, how lovely: a protest against democracy. How like the left to be such bad losers.

    Just like last year when the Conservatives won the general election. And this time, chaps, you can’t even claim that the system was against you. One man, one vote, and you didn’t get enough of them. Now accept the result like grown-ups, rather than throwing all your rattles out of the pram.

    • Margaret Fingerhut says:

      Yes Pooroperaman – and they were such bad losers who tried to stop the rise of the extreme right wing in Germany, Austria, Spain…

      • Luis says:

        Dear Margaret: We have not an extreme right party in Spain. Please, only a little more of attention to our reality. Ask to the British people that are living in Spain and will lose their (our) really good -and free- National Health System. What a disappointment: UK out of Europe!

    • Craig says:

      You think this is a left vs right issue? How like a right winger to take any opportunity to sneer at the ‘left’. Get a grip.

    • Steven Holloway says:

      I suspect you don’t realize how much you reveal about your construction of ‘democracy’ when you call a gesture of regret over a historic decision and of continuing kinship with the Continent “a protest against democracy”. How do you justify your assertion? You damn yourself as anti-democracy with a comment from which it follows that one referendum is, in a Hegelian sense, the end of History. Votes have been cast, 51.9% were for Brexit, so now the other 48.1% must shut up and obediently follow the wishes of the majority. This is more reminiscent of Germany in 1933 than of European democrats who debated the best form of democracy over the past two centuries. Few philosophers who took part in that debate came down in favour of the will of the majority. I suspect you have done very nicely out of the past few decades of British History. Your problem is that you may ere long face the type of democracy you savour: Ochlochracy.

    • DESR says:

      Spot on. If the vote had gone the other way, those of us who voted for Leave would have been told very firmly indeed to ‘get with the programme’, ‘stop whining’, and ‘move on’.

  • Ellingtonia says:

    Why?…………. the democratic vote of the people is that we leave, or are the “musical luvvies” a specially protected breed?

    • John Borstlap says:

      The leave campaign was filled to the brim with lies, incorrect and distorted information, fear mongering, and appeals to primitive nationalistic instincts. Brexit will damage the UK’s culture and particularly its musical culture, which is supposed to be there for the entire range of political concerns, from left to right. Music is not in itself left or right.

      • Gillian Rae-Walker says:

        How I agree with that! And it will be thoroughly divisive!

      • Maria Brewin says:

        I suggest you take up a residency in Manningham, Bradford, and then see how you feel about our “primitive nationalistic instincts”.

        As for “lies, incorrect and distorted information, fear mongering” – to accuse Leave of this is laughable under the circumstances.

        Haydn, Mozart, Wagner, Handel etc didn’t appear to have a problem getting to London. And all without Ryanair’s help.

        • Gillian Rae-Walker says:

          Oh, is Bradford full of Europeans?

          • Maria Brewin says:

            No, it’s a good example of how people with “primitive nationalistic instincts” have tolerated a large influx of people who have little interest in integrating.

            “Divisive”? You don’t know the meaning of the word.

        • James Washington says:

          Haydn, Mozart, Wagner, Handel etc. also didn’t need passports to get to London. Your comment betrays your ignorance.

          • Maria Brewin says:

            Passports are neither here nor there. The essential point is that travel was possible before the EU, and will continue after its demise.

            “Your comment betrays your ignorance.” Pure arrogance – the whole problem in a nutshell.

        • herrera says:

          “Haydn, Mozart, Wagner, Handel etc didn’t appear to have a problem getting to London.”

          That was never the problem, Europeans gaining on London, it’s the other way around that is the problem, the English gaining on Europe. You named 4 European composers who made it in London, now name a single English composer who made it in Europe. I thought so.

  • Gary says:

    Had it gone other way by the same slim margin then the Brexiteers would have been more magnanimous in defeat and not staged any kind of demo? I doubt it. This is peoples’ lives and livelihoods st stake here, not just some nostalgic revisiting of British imperial legacy or ‘sticking it’ to Cameron as a protest vote. They should show solidarity.

  • DG says:

    I believe in our democracy. This Ode to Joy could be a beautiful thing. It should be to show Europe that we love it, but wouldn’t accept the political system of the EU. Many across the EU feel the same. People can love each other without pooling sovereignty. Remain camp should be gracious and unite with all of Leave. We have an exciting global future to build together. We still love Europe!

  • NYMike says:

    The same immigration fears with feelings against the “establishment” exist here in the US where Trump holds sway among a sizable portion of its population. In both cases, probably bad for the arts and for the stock markets.

  • Pete says:

    Congratulations to the good people of the UK who voted for independence from the dead hand of the European Union.

    • jaypee says:

      Let me guess… you’re an American and you’ve never been to Europe… actually, you’ve never been outside of your country… you get your information from fox “news” and will vote for the orange thing…
      So, tell us what you do know *exactly* about Europe…

      • Pete says:

        Yes, I have been to Europe a number of times. You are wrong on all accounts.

        • James Washington says:

          You do realise that backpacking through Europe, spending only one or two nights in each city doesn’t really mean you understand the culture here right?

        • John says:

          We’re still waiting. Just what DO you know based on your few trips to Europe?

    • Holly Golightly says:

      Yes, it showed courage and imagination to believe in a life beyond external control and German diktat!!

      @Maria Brewin: I completely understand where you’re coming from! There was always going to be an ‘end game’ in this.

  • ohglorioso says:

    Goodbye, Great Britain.
    Hello, Little England.

    • V.Lind says:

      I think soon-to-be independent Scotland (which I opposed in their referendum) should invite London to be a city of Scotland, rather as Berlin was isolated in East Germany before reunification. Let’s face it, it is only the little Englanders from the British equivalent of the flyover states who voted to leave. The worrying thing, especially for Americans who still suspect in their heart of hearts that the British are smarter than them, is that if England can do it, so can the US, and Trump is now an inevitability.

      As for a gathering in some kind of sympathy for Europe, when nearly 50% of the population voted to stay in Europe, it seems perfectly reasonable.

      I hope Mr. Lebrecht will find a report on how it went — I have not encountered one so far, but it may still be going on as I write.

    • Holly Golightly says:

      Or was that ‘goodbye Little Britain”? I think.

    • Ellingtonia says:

      I do find it interesting that many of my age who voted to leave the EU yesterday probably argued in favour of the original EU back in 1975, as I did. There was no stronger advocate than me, but many like myself became disillusioned with the move form an “economic community” to that of a “political state” which then proceeded to impose laws and directives which were often not in our interest and at times went completely against what we in the UK believed to be right.
      So the next person who accuses me of being a right wing bigot or little Englander (and what is wrong with being English?) will get the appropriate verbal response in what I think is generally termed “industrial language.”
      Many of my close work colleagues and friends have have been foreign or come from immigrant families (and still do), I have worked in Israel and Lithuania so have a fairly cosmopolitan view of the world (having visited 22 countries), unlike the stereotyping that is taking place at the moment by the remainers and the usual lefties at the Guardian, who must have choked on their lattes at the result!
      It has never been a case of stop immigration by us leavers, but one of controlling numbers and the status of those coming into the country i.e. what can they contribute rather than what will they immediately take out.
      However, the carping will go on by the remainers and the labour party must be shaking its head in bemusement that they were led into this referendum by a man who, if he had two brain cells would be dangerous! Corbyn handed the result to us advocating leaving, through his dishonesty, ineptitude and lack of intelligence……….God help the Labour party (who I staunchly supported for the best part of 40 years).
      And of course the musical luvvies are “special”………..but in the same way the Sheldon is “special” in the Big Bang Theory/

    • Holly Golightly says:

      Absolutely bravo! We’re all tired of the moralizing, lecturing, hectoring, censoring, censuring, politically correct, virtue-signalling safe spacers. Ugly indeed.

      The pendulum always swings in a sharply opposite direction.

  • Eddie McGuire says:

    We should reclaim Beethoven’s theme from the EU propagandists!

  • Nick says:

    Maria Brewin: “As for ‘lies, incorrect and distorted information, fear mongering’ – to accuse Leave of this is laughable”

    Am I or am I not correct? The bus which took leaders of the Brexit campaign around the country had splashed on its side in large letters “Let’s give our NHS the £350 million the EU takes every week.” Yesterday after the result Farage said the money could not be guaranteed and claimed he should never have made the promise in the first place. He said it was just a “mistake”. Mistake?? How many voters were swayed by that mega lie, I wonder?

    • Holly Golightly says:

      I suspect a smaller number than actually swallow politically correct cant direct from the politburo about how wonderful life is/will be for Britain when it takes in the entire developing world.

      Many of you who face the prospect of career changes might consider an eclectic celebration of diversity in the form of dance.

    • Maria Brewin says:

      The issue is gross hypocrisy, not the £350m.

      The Remain campaign was guilty of using appalling scare tactics and shroud waving (war cemetery gravestones etc). But I think you know that perfectly well, don’t you?

      People were voting against the sort of supercilious attitudes on display here, and against the changes they see taking place around them on a daily basis. Changes which probably have little impact on the people who enjoy parading their moral superiority on these pages.

  • Ppellay says:

    All of you crowing and sneering armchair separatists: once the dust clears, and immigration is exactly the same as it has ever been, and the economy has crashed and burned, and the arts have died, and this country has turned into “das Land ohne Musik” for real this time, and the working class will have realised it has just cut off its face to spite its nose (and thus go off to find someone other than themselves to blame), and Great Britain is irrevocably dismembered, and war will likely break out on European soil for the first time in 70 years, I’ll make it my life’s mission to look up as many of you as I’m capable of, and LAUGH at you! So you all better get on your knees and pray that it all comes out all right and life is all “There’ll always be an England” once again. I’m not holding my breath.

    • Ellingtonia says:

      My goodness, you really did choke on your latte whilst reading the Guardian yesterday. We who voted leave are not crowing or sneering as you put it, we would have abided by the result even if it had gone the other way, and we would have accepted it with dignity as the will of the people.
      Why not try looking up the definition of “democracy” and then spend a little time crying into your coffee.
      Oh, and please save us your linguistic academic prowess by quoting “das Land ohne Musik”. How about in English, because that is who we are………and proud of it.

    • Sue says:

      Oh, do you need Brexit for this? I thought it was well underway already!

  • Greg Hlatky says:

    This horrifying event is the natural result of giving the franchise to the peasantry. Now when I visit the Opéra Bastille people snicker at me behind their hands.

    If all these silly Kevins and Sharons are allowed to have a say, who knows where we might end up. They should stick to getting drunk and pumping out their bastard sprogs and leave the thinking to us Great and Good.

    Yours condescendingly,
    Sir Peter Ranfurly-Drax-Ffinch-Jonas, Bart.

    • Sue says:

      You have belled the cat: the so-called elites have never had anything but contempt for the ‘great unwashed’ (who have an equal vote, btw). This has always been evident through the constant attempts to suppress freedom of speech, finger-wagging and moralizing which passes for ‘social discourse’. Mmm. Game’s up!!

  • DESR says:

    Gaudeamus igitur.

    Or in other words: “Rejoice. Just rejoice.”

    • Sue says:

      Yes, where IS Brahms when he’s needed!!?? 🙂

    • Ellingtonia says:

      Another intellectual displaying his linguistic prowess to us, the lower class. And just for good measure he goes on to explain it in English. At one time people in the UK knew how to accept defeat gracefully, but not anymore. I have never heard such whining, carping and self pity than from those who LOST the vote last Thursday.
      Let me quote an old industrial saying “nil bastardo carborundum” and I won’t patronise you by interpreting it!

      • DESR says:

        Non illegitimi, old thing.

        I voted for Brexit, so no issue with accepting the result from me.

        These simply were references to the Academic Festival overture’s climactic song, and thus to Brahms (ie MUSIC), but also more ironically Thatcher after the Falklands.

  • John Willan says:

    I was indecisive before the vote; now I’m not so sure…..

  • Marc says:

    I haven’t had so much unadulterated fun in months as I’ve had in the last three days, watching so many exploding heads, figuratively speaking, at the Guardian and among the fellow travellers (at WaPo, NYT, NPR &c). Hadn’t thought to look at SD since the beginning of the week but am happy to see Holly G., Maria B. and others here refusing to cower before the Euro-cadres’ theatre of trauma. Poor Beethoven! that from the heavens he should see the lackeys of the imperial bureaucratic state using his music to accompany their acts of propaganda.