Slava plays at the fall of the wall

Slava plays at the fall of the wall


norman lebrecht

November 10, 2019


There were giants in those days.



  • Petros Linardos says:

    Forgetting about Slava’s Berlin Wall appearance would be most worrisome. So is forgetting the lessons about walls.

  • Tom Rakewell says:

    Now we only have pygmies left.

  • fflambeau says:

    I remember the hope and the joy that came with the fall of the wall. Remember Leonard Bernstein conducting Beethoen’s 9th with 3 assemlbled orchestras? Actually, things are probably worse now than then.

    It never came about in part because of th neo-liberal, neo-conservative agendas (largely the same) of endless wars, racial and sexual inequality, heightening the wealth gap, and undercutting real democracy. At the moment, there is no superpower or even close to one that is a democracy: not the USA, not Canada, not Australia, not the U.K. Maybe in Switzerland and Norway. Maybe.

    Sadly too, it affects the arts (including music).

    • Kyle says:

      I disagree that things are probably worse, though it can certainly feel like it sometimes. Despite a dramatically increased population, the number of people living in poverty is less than half the number in 1989.

      Obviously, that’s just one measure and still leaves hundreds of millions of people behind, but progress is progress.

      Also, the internet.

  • anon says:

    I sang on top of the Berlin Wall, no camera crew there to capture my glorious moment, my singing that day had as much impact on the outcome of the reunification 30 years later as Slava’s cello did, as Bernstein’s Beethoven 9 did, Barenboim’s did: AfD, Alternative für Deutschland.

    Classical music binds humanity together.

  • Gustavo says:

    Come on Sheku, play up against political protectionisms and populism!

  • John Borstlap says:

    I am rather skeptical about classical musicians immediately turning-up into the limelight at politically spectacular moments with their instruments, as if they are somehow part of the occasion. Are they really so concerned, suddenly? Or do they try to sip some of the attention? At such occasions, it is never about the music.

    • esfir ross says:

      Slava didn’t publicly protest in 1961 when wall was built. Whay not then?!

      • Petros LInardos says:

        One chooses their battles, especially in a totalitarian regime. In 1961, Slava had young children in Russia.
        Overall, Slava cannot be criticized for not standing up to the Soviet Union. In the 1970s he officially fell out of favor for his support of dissidents.

    • Tom Rakewell says:

      You don’t know much about Rostro, do you, John??