Watch: Louis Farrakhan plays the Beethoven violin concerto

Watch: Louis Farrakhan plays the Beethoven violin concerto

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norman lebrecht

May 19, 2021

The controversial American pastor can play, slowly but with a certain authority.

Performance begins on video at 57.00.


Here are more typical Farrakhan utterances:
Jews were responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out, turning men into women and women into men…. White folks are going down. And Satan is going down. And Farrakhan, by God’s grace, has pulled a cover off of that Satanic Jew, and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through. You good Jews better separate because the satanic ones will take you to hell with them because that’s where they are headed.
Saviour’s Day Speech, 2/25/18

It is now becoming apparent that there were many Israelis and Zionist Jews in key roles in the 9/11 attacks. Israelis had foreknowledge of the attacks… We know that many Jews received a text message not to come to work on September 11.
Saviour’s Day Speech, 2015

Comments

  • Stuart says:

    Not sure why this was posted. Should the next posting in the series be about art appreciation from Germany in the 30’s?

    • Kalifah says:

      I think what folks here are truly saying is that the esteemed Mr. Farrakhan is pro-black and black people’s pain has clearly been inflicted mostly by Jews going back to the slave trade.

      For further education, see the NYT produced 1619 Project to affirm that the seminal concept of white supremacy was birthed by Jews who to this day segregate themselves from blacks and keep them ignorant and impoverished. The Jew still looks at the black as they are inhuman, refusing entry to their neighborhoods and homes. They educate them to feel inferior and deny financial assistance as they are not their brother; only being slaves for their use and entertainment.

      The teachings of the NYT 1619 Project and Black Lives Matter are already being taught in schools which embrace an evolved world of diversity. Jewish schools recoil in fear not embracing the change that the great Obama also championed. Why? They know their shame comes with the high cost of reparations they owe before all others as outlined in history.

      • Dave T says:

        Here is a prime example of a mind polluted and twisted by the Number 1 Bigot, Louis Farrakhan. I feel sad for this guy.

      • Bill says:

        Why is this comment allowed to stay here? This isn’t some sort of “opposing viewpoint”, this is out and out anti-Semitic bigotry.
        Norman, this is completely unacceptable and you know it. To let it stay unmoderated just to stir the pot and get some clicks speaks volumes. If it is allowed to stay, I will never visit this site again. I expect better.

      • Stuart says:

        No, that’s not what folks are saying. The 1619 Project doesn’t affirm anything for me except to confirm its fundamental racist flaws. This is probably the most objectionable posting that I have read on this blog and I am surprised that the moderator hasn’t commented. I accept that free speech guarantees the right of folks to hold totally bigoted anti-Semitic beliefs. I am simply surprised to find such views here. To reference Obama in this posting is a real disservice to the former President.

      • Tom Phillips says:

        Why is this genocidal Nazi propaganda – and death threats – allowed on this site?

    • Patrick says:

      Farrakhan is the epitome of everything which is wrong with American society today.

  • John McLaughlin Williams says:

    He’s 88 now but do note that this performance (as explained in the spoken introduction) was given 19 years ago.

  • Bill says:

    He’s also a soul/R&B singer of talent and a speaker of unquestionable ability. Too bad he’s an anti Semitic racist; he could have used his considerable talents for good.

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    ==We know that many Jews received a text message not to come to work on September 11.

    Hmmm.. he should stick to the playing (which actually isn’t bad, has a blast of confidence)

  • Petros Linardos says:

    The world would be a far better place if some dangerous people stuck to music or painting instead of becoming opinion leaders. Louis Farrakhan belongs in that category.

    • David K. Nelson says:

      I agree with the sentiment but would say this. The first time it became known that Louis Farrakhan was an genuinely accomplished violinist I seem to recall reading that one of his earliest teachers was a pupil of Ysaÿe. (I do know that in more recent years he has worked with Elaine Skorodin, a (Jewish) Heifetz pupil, but I am speaking of his formative years.). But having acquired the tone, technique and I think it could be said the musicality of a concert artist — maybe a soloist or maybe not but certainly at the level of someone who can make a living in classical music — that he found all avenues were closed to him because of race. It was a time when state laws that mandated segregated schools, restaurants, railroad cars, hotels — all were perfectly legal under US Supreme Court rulings not yet overturned. From a racial perspective things did not even pretend to be fair, and they were not fair.

      We all have our hatreds and resentments I expect but if Farrakhan’s views can be said to be deranged, and I think they are, a man of his talents went through experiences that could be expected to foster derangements.

      Sticking to violin was an option denied to him and I suspect to others.

      I say this not to excuse or justify his odious views, or to suggest that it is not for us to judge him — he should be and has been judged — but to try to understand how a person who might well be deemed brilliant came to have them — and perhaps most damaging of all, had the talent to articulate and disseminate them in a way which alas has proven convincing to many.

      • Petros Linardos says:

        You are making some good points. But it doesn’t take much to imagine an alternative history where Louis Farrakhan could have become an inspirational violin teacher. He appears to have the required musical and communicational skills. Moreover, there is no question that he is a fighter. He was well positioned to beat the odds.

  • Monsoon says:

    Why are you helping to give this video views?

  • Concertgebouw79 says:

    I prefere to watch Vengerov and Kavakos or Liviu Prunaru

  • Edgar Self says:

    He has also played Mendelssohn’s E-minor concerto in public.

    • HugoPreuss says:

      And here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI7V1jXZ9fc This rendition seems to be better than the Beethoven. Besides: it is a bit weird that an antisemite like Farrakhan actually plays the Mendelssohn concerto. The audience is obviously not used to classical music, as you can hear many times during the performance, starting in the middle of the first movement.

      • Save the MET says:

        He saws his way through the Mendelssohn, just listened to it. They must be paying the conductor and musicians a fortune to have the tolerance level to deal with that. The fact that he plays a Jewish composer’s music (despite his families conversion) after the bile, hate and disdain he espouses for Jews is a total oxymoron.

    • Steven Holloway says:

      That performance is on YT also.

  • I peg the decline of classical music instruction in public schools to the general realization among decision makers that it wasn’t making anyone more civilized.

    • Sisko24 says:

      Or, maybe the realization that it wasn’t making anyone (immediately) wealthy. Never underestimate the short-sightedness and pecuniary foolishness of the educational establishment, particularly in the U.S.

  • Uncle Sam says:

    I may be a sucker for the symbolic things, but here’s an idea: if and when the current dust-up between Israel and Palestinians is somehow resolved, wouldn’t it be something if there was a performance in Jerusalem of Bach’s Double Violin Concerto – with Itzhak Perlman and Louis Farrakhan as soloists (hugging afterwards) and Daniel Barenboim conducting his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra of young Jewish and Arab musicians? To illustrate once again that precious and ever-elusive “common humanity” thing, about which Cornel West speaks so passionately at 5:25 in that video.
    Most likely, it’s not gonna happen, for a variety of reasons – and even if it did it probably wouldn’t have a lasting effect, but still… One can dream of a better future for this planet than the present time – so overflowing with hatred, intolerance, demagoguery and greed.

    • Sisko24 says:

      You’re right to say “that it’s not gonna happen, for a variety of reasons…” Consider this: we’ve had everyone from the ancient fathers in the Old and New Testament through Beethoven and Schiller and others right on up to the present preaching to us that ‘all men are brothers’ yet still we’ve seen the Holocaust, Atlantic slavery trade, Northern Ireland religious troubles, Israel v. Palestinians, Islam’s internal slugfest (Sunni v. Shia), well, I can go on but you get the picture, right? Maybe mankind is hard wired for self-immolation.

  • James Weiss says:

    He is one of the most vile racist scumbags on the face of the earth. You couldn’t pay me any amount of money to watch him.

  • sam says:

    Let’s just put it this way: if he played it for an audiition, he would not get into this orchestra as a last desk second violin.

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s a vile man, but the level of playing is impressive for someone who hasn’t studied or likely actively practiced since his youth.

  • Miko says:

    His views should chime with the far right: get Dowden to book him as a star turn at the Brexit Festival.

  • Bone says:

    Kinda wish he would advocate for minorities to pursue western art music. WAM is taking quite the hit from academia, so a well-respected BIPOC spokesperson could make a big difference.

  • Edgar Self says:

    A short-list of non-professional violinists,– Nero, Jack Benny, Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians, Mussolini, Jefferson, Nixon, Einstein, Thomas Mann,– holds a few villains but no-one who might do as well as Farrakhan 19 years ago. One of the introductory speakers mentions Mendelssohn and Joachim but not their Jewish ancestry.

    It’s all there more or less: trills, double-stops, harmonics, and Joachim’s cadenza.

    The boiler-plate anti-Semitism is what the Catholic church and countries said for centuries. I hope Farrakhan’s are older than this film. It is the Nation of Islam after all.

  • M McAlpine says:

    You should have at least mentioned that this ‘pastor’ is actually the leader of the ‘Nation of Islam’.

  • mary says:

    The man has no rhythm.

    (Or more likely, like most amateur musicians, he slows down in difficult passages and speeds up in easier ones.)

  • Sharon says:

    shame on Slipped Disc for publishing anything related to ‘the controversial pastor’ A hate monger who likes to play music. The Nazis liked music too

    • Sisko24 says:

      Yes, and don’t forget that Stalin was, by all accounts, an excellent singer. But was that before or after he was at seminary? I don’t remember.

  • sabrinensis says:

    Playing like that wouldn’t even get him a seat in the viola section! 🙂

  • BrianB says:

    Why give this vile Hitler-praising racist any publicity whatsoever?

  • Tom Phillips says:

    A thoroughly monstrous individual who cannot die soon enough. When will his supposed prostate cancer problems finally kick in?

  • Will Wilkin says:

    They say Heinrich Schenker was a decent music theorist.

  • Brian K. Butler says:

    First off this is about music not about speeches he made in the past…It’s an insult to bring that up!

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