Friday, 25 October 2019
A reminder of what it's all for
(above: Leonard Bernstein at the Berlin Wall. Photo by Andreas Meyer-Schwickerath from classicalwcrb.org)
Dear friends and supporters,
It's been a strange week. I'm down with my second awful cold in a month, and it seems symbolic that I've lost my voice, since I'm also lost for words when I see the state of our politics at present. I'm escaping on Sunday for six days scouting Beethoven locations in Vienna, but we still do not know if we're going to crash out of the EU with no deal next Thursday. The very notion is insanity personified.
Therefore I want to remind you what Beethoven can do, and did do, and is still for.
Here is the celebratory performance of the Ninth Symphony in Berlin 1989 after the fall of the Wall. Leonard Bernstein conducts. "The wall is down and the city is euphoric. Never was a musical work more suitable for a celebration than the work we're about to hear. Alle menschen werden Bruder. This is the message we send from Berlin this Christmas." Enjoy. And never forget. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8ftSEeOCPw
Even if they put up walls, we will pull them down.
Even if they divide us, we will find ways to unite and be together.
Even if they make us a laughing stock, we will produce great art that proves them wrong.
Even if they turn us into a pariah state, still we will call out their criminality.
Even if hope seems lost and the future grim, we will sing joy in testing times as well as good times, because there is no greater symbol of resistance than that. They can try to take our freedoms, but they cannot take our souls.
Beethoven is with us all the way.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your support, both financial and moral, and do please keep spreading the word - we are into the final ten per cent of fundraising now (only £512 left to raise!) and in the writing I am in "act IV". Lots of love to everyone, and I will report back from Vienna!