Barenboim puts on concert for Beirut

Barenboim puts on concert for Beirut


norman lebrecht

August 10, 2020

Two concerts this week by the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra will be dedicated to the Lebanese people and the victims of the Beirut explosion. Daniel Barenboim will conduct works by Beethoven, Wagner, Schoenberg and Boulez on Thursday and Friday in Berlin’s Pierre Boulez Hall.

Only 150 people will be permitted to attend.


  • Gustavo says:

    Wagner in Beirut.

    Got it.

    • Occamsrazor says:

      Imagine, you just lost your entire family. What could soothe your soul better than Schoenberg and Boulez? Classical musicians for the most part are soulless psychopaths.

  • Occamsrazor says:

    That’s exactly what Lebanese people need while the whole world is watching a video of a rocket going into that fertilizer storage.

  • sorin braun says:

    Pompously imbecile way to try to help.

    • Henry williams says:

      They need classical music like a hole in the head

      • Occamsrazor says:

        You see, I’m from St.Petersburg. This psychopathy started in 1941 when Shostakovich while safely away in Kuibyshev, swollen from caviar, cognac and 7 Stalin’s Prizes, fed the people of Leningrad his 7th symphony. Those people received rations as low as 125 grams of bread a day for 900 days and about a 1.2 million of them starved and froze to death. He later pretended to be a victim of Stalin. If psychopaths could recognize how offensive their actions are, they wouldn’t be psychopaths.

        • Luca says:

          That is false: Shostakovich worked in Leningrad during the siege until he was moved under orders to relative safety. This fact is well documented for those interested in the truth.

          • Occamsrazor says:

            Shostakovich was in Leningrad up until late October or early November of 1941. By that time cats and dogs already looked tasty. Poor guy, 10000 ruble a month salary, when the average was about 300, plus 7 Stalin’s Prizes of several hundred grand each. Many who received these prizes donated them to the war effort but not the poor neurotic Dima.

  • Ed says:

    Bravo Maestro!

  • Philip Emery says:

    Good for him!!!!!

  • Occamsrazor says:

    The only thing that could rival this in terms of tastelessness is Gergiev concert in Palmira. I recognized some of my classmates in the Mariinsky orchestra. In some situations Muses need to be silent, especially in Islamic countries where art in general is correctly recognized as an offensive and useless waste of time.

  • Alexander Tarak says:

    Credit to Barenboim.
    Shame about some of the moronic comments below.

  • Alexander Tarak says:

    Ps: I am referring to Gustavo and Occamsrazor.

  • Simon Behrman says:

    Jeez, such sour comments here!

    Bravo to Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra! What a truly thoughtful gesture.

    And I love Boulez’s music. Some of the most inventive pieces and beautiful sonorities of the second half of the 20th Century.

  • Tom says:

    Beirut is literally close to home for many of the orchestra players. I would imagine this gesture, dedicating a program they were going to play anyway, is as much for their sake as anyone else’s. They’re in Berlin – what else can they do?

    • Occamsrazor says:

      In Sharia law music and chess are correctly recognized as an offensive waste of time. They could get meaningful professions and contribute to society like doctors treating the wounded or bulldozer drivers clearing the rubble and getting to them in time. Playing classical music in times like this only proves Sharia right once again.

    • Occamsrazor says:

      Ravel drove an ambulance at the front lines during ww1. He didn’t dispense his genuinely divine harmonies on the wounded and dead. I recall the queen of England working as a nurse during ww2 and the Tsarina of Russia and her daughters doing the same in ww1. Royals might be supreme psychopaths but they are too smart to give the peasants too many reasons to see that.

      • clarrieu says:

        Occamsrazor, are you that ignorant and stupid? Ever heard of “Le Tombeau de Couperin”?

        • Occamsrazor says:

          I`m ignorant and stupid. Are you happy now? Are ad hominem attacks the best that conservatory-trained beta males can come up with?

      • Jonathan Sutherland says:

        Queen Elizabeth II never worked as a nurse during WWII.
        She worked as an auto mechanic in Surrey, and learned how to repair and rebuild engines and how to drive jeeps, trucks and ambulances.

        • Occamsrazor says:

          I’m sure the lady was quite capable of playing a few minuets but she chose to repair trucks. I’m sure a minuet or two would have been a more thoughtful gesture.

  • Nick says:

    As always, politics first!!

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    I was sure DB would not miss that chance.

  • Jonathan Sutherland says:

    As always Barenboim’s multicultural collegiality is impressive, but perhaps a more fitting venue would have been the spectacular Roman temples in Baalbek north-east of Beirut.
    Admittedly the problems involved with orchestra travel in the time of Covid, not to mention that the area is effectively under the control of Hezbollah, are vastly more complex than presenting a cosy concert in the Französische Straße.
    It would take a genius in logistics and diplomacy to make such an idea happen but by way of inspiration, Herbert von Karajan and the Berliner Philharmoniker managed to give a concert in Baalbek in 1968 during the Arab-Israeli war.

  • Player says:

    You have to hand it to Barenboim: he is showing true leadership in the music profession and getting on with it. No bed wetting unionised crap. No begging for cash. Chapeau.

  • Occamsrazor says:

    Baalbek would indeed be more impressive but it’s a bit too radioactive now for a concert of Boulez.

  • Vjacheslav says:

    2005 New Year’s Concert in Wiene is Art for HEART’S Sake!!!I am looking forward to catching his orchestra playing more of Strauss 1 and 2 and their uncle Joseph.Strauss’s music conducted by This Great Talent Daniel Barenboim and January are sure Winter Pieces.I hope you put New Year’s Concert 2021 with Daniel and his musicians in the Internet.WARM WISHES,Slava

  • Vjacheslav says:

    EXCUSE ME,2005 New Year’s Concert in Wien was conducted by Lorin Maazel,another UNFORGETTABLE conductor.2009 was Daniel Barenboim’s and his orchestra time.Why did I make a slight mistake?That is because New Year’s Concerts in Wiene conducted by Lorin Maazel in 2005 and Daniel Barenboim in 2009 both HAD VERY WELL,FINE ARRANGED PIECES OF CLASSICAL MUSIC /WALTZES,POLKAS,OVERTURES AND OTHERS.THEY WERE CONCERTS TO REMEMBER AND THEY STILL ARE!!!WARM WISHES,Slava

  • Occamsrazor says: Anyone playing like this and not committing suicide the next day surely has the nerve to do the concert we are discussing.

    • christopher storey says:

      Occam : I am afraid that you need urgent treatment for mental illness , and I urge you to seek it immediately

      • Occamsrazor says:

        And what is the diagnosis? By the way, mental illnesses are incurable and treatment in most cases leaves the patient worse than before.

  • JoAnn says:

    In honor of those who were affected by the horrific explosion in Beirut….lovely gesture.

  • Joss says:

    The temporal differential we call wakefulness is the cosmic interaction of subatomic particles operating in the quantum field, the leap represents a fundamental universal constant that we can only speculate upon in the macro scale of wave form frequencies. You must take a stand against suffering. The complexity of the present time seems to demand an evolving of our hearts if we are going to survive. Where there is stagnation, choice cannot thrive.

  • T-Bone says:

    Too bad this site has become infested with so many pathetic trolls…