Daniel Barenboim: What happened to the native Australian people?

A colleague reports from Barenboim’s concerts in Sydney:

Coinciding with the release of the four Brahms Symphonies on DG the Staatskapelle Berlin under Barenboim have been performing at Sydney Opera House this week.  We heard the four Symphonies in chronological order and the final concert was Schubert Unfinished and the Eroica.  The three performances celebrated the 45th anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Opera House.
At the conclusion of the second concert Barenboim had a microphone.  As close as I remember, this is what he said.
“I thought that I should say something before this concert, but I didn’t.  Then I thought I should say something after the concert that maybe I shouldn’t.  But I am going to anyway.  The orchestra and I would like to dedicate this concert to the memory of the first native inhabitants of this continent.   [strong applause] … Perhaps all of this is too late.  I was last in Australia sixty years ago and nobody spoke about this then.  But now I am happy to say that everywhere people here and politicians are acknowledging the First Peoples [again, he may have said ’native Australians’].  Perhaps it is all too late but better late than never.  Any country in the world needs to account for its past before being able to be accepted into a society of nations.” [loud cheering from the hall]

And now, the video:

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  • I shan’t buy his new Brahms as I was very disappointed by his new Elgar symphonies, which got a dythyrambic review in “Gramophone”.

    • I thought “dythyrambic” was normally written “dithyrambic”. Nevertheless, Gramophone are not the only reviewers who were dythyrambic/dithyrambic.

  • Giovanni Brahms: I just love my symphonies, but I don’t want not of them played in haste in just 2 concerts.

    Luigi dal’ Beethoven: You have just four. In my case were nine! Not to talk of what he’s done to your cousin Antonio’s nine.

    Riccardo Wagner: Well, if this can be of comfort to you, he has done worse things with my operas.

    Josef Verdi: I can’t blame him for the same yet.

    • Guglielmo Furtwängler: I had a feeling that that little boy could develop into a Weapon of Mass Conduction. But in politics he seems to be more confused than myself, if it is possible!


      Giovanni Brahms: I just love my symphonies, but I don’t want all of them played in haste in just 2 concerts.

    • Wrong. People don’t lose their right to their opinions because they are on stage. You are perfectly able to choose not to attend their concerts, if that is what you want. I assure you, his career won’t hurt if you don’t like what he does.

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