As an Israeli, he is also highly respected for his involvement in political and social issues. In the 90s he was responsible for the first performances of Wagner’s ouevre in Israel since the Holocaust; in 1999, along with Edward W. Said, he co-founded the East-West Divan Orchestra, which brought together young musicians from Israel, Palestinian territories, and Arab nations.
Barenboim’s generosity and unwavering belief in the unifying powers of music are balanced with a strident intellectualism, which can be observed in Parallels & Paradoxes, a set of transcribed discussions between himself and Said. That said, his views rarely stray into academic pedantry - he is an outspoken critic of period performance purists, for example, advocating instead the freedom of ahistorical rendition. All of these qualities can be observed in Barenboim’s performances, both as a pianist and conductor: his interpretations are deeply expressive, sometimes wildly so, but are always underpinned by a mastery of form.
The Barenboim Project is split into two parts. In the April performances Barenboim will conduct the flawless Staatskapelle Berlin, along with virtuosi Martha Argerich and Lisa Batiashvili, in performances of Strauss’s Ein Heldenieben , Elgar’s Symphony No. 2 , and concerti by Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. Meanwhile, in the May and June performances, he will take to the piano to perform nine Schubert sonatas over four concerts. In an ideal world we'd be able to book tickets to all of these performances. However, if we have to recommend one, the Schubert sonatas are the tickets to go for. Many of these works are on a par with those of Beethoven in terms of quality, but possess the fragility and emotional transparency of Schubert’s songs or string quartets. Barenboim, who possesses an almost unparalleled delicacy of touch, will certainly show these pieces in their finest light.
There is a reason why these tickets have been released a year in advance, and we think you know what it is, so quit stalling and get booking!
|What||The Barenboim Project 2015, Royal Festival Hall|
|Where||Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
20 Apr 15 – 02 Jun 15, 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM
|Price||£7.00 - £65.00|
|Website||Click here to book via the Southbank Centre's website|