Comments in “Reith-forum”: Mehta, Glander, Divans (Sic!)

Dear New York Folks,

This is Jiwon.

I wanted to work in the morning, and I thought that I found a shortcut to cure my sore eyes. It was a great theory and worked great. A problem occurred when I was not exercising. It was like… a fork was scratching my eyes. One week was enough to try out this best method. No more taking a shortcut. No more alcohol until I finish this work. It takes couple of days to think of one sentence… shit.

Story 1-3: (Done!)

Story 4: Things that I can not understand. (Extended…)

Story 5: Barenboim (Starting…)

Story 5+: Divan (Today’s Story)

Story 4:

4-6. Things that I can not understand.

How many years have passed since my first writing? What have happened to Barenboim’s dearest friends or disciples or whatever? Zubin Mehta and his New York friend HF, Pinchas Zukerman, Matthias Glander and his Trio Apollon, etc….

1. Not Barenboim but Mehta seemed to be diligent in reading my analysis.

2. Mehta takes good-looking musicians in his power and hands over hopeless ones to Barenboim.

3. What happened to those good ones? What happened to Barenboim?

Still, the most ugly and stupid music living in my memory is from Mehta’s Italian orchestra. The most hilarious Zubin Mehta was when he was conducting Waltraud Meier’s twinkling eyes.

In general, whenever maestro Mehta is happy, his music sound awful.

The funniest scene from maestro Mehta: When I found forumites’ opinion about Barenboim’s Brahms, he was real quick to conduct pianist Barenboim. I am still curious, still want to watch/listen to that concert. I promise that it would be among the funniest concert, in which pianist Barenboim made the most useless sound. Why do you think so?

Perhaps… Barenboim took hopeless ones and offer good ones to his big brother… for some reasons.

What really means a real friendship? Zubin Mehta says that he deeply cares for Barenboim’s real happiness. Is this what real friends are doing in our human society?

I still don’t understand.

If maestro Mehta were a real great musician or real talent as he rated himself, there should be nothing to hurt his pride no matter how I analyze or even insult his music. Because he knows that not I but he is on the right track. Whether by his instinct or from someone’s theory, he would know it and stick to his gun. He would be able to defend his favorite way of music-making and to be specific when pinpointing out the nature of the problems of my criticism or even insulting.

He would be able to do all of these… in an open place. We call it professionalism, don’t we?

Who know? I might be wrong.

The same goes for Matthias Glander.

The only thing I know about his Trio Apollon is that the clarinet and the viola were the last followers in Barenboim’s Beethoven recordings. They were the worst members in Barenboim’s staatskapelle in Berlin.

He was also the worst sound, which hardly followed his conductor in Barenboim’s Wagner at Bayreuth. His sound had always projected as if the conductor is not enough qualified to lead him, and therefore, he sometimes even should lead his entire ensemble. Not to mention, his always out of pitch! I wrote it years ago, and he still didn’t answer my questions about this. Sooner or later, I will ask this same question to his Middle East students.

Fun to find that his Trio Apollon is represented by an Israeli management. I hope Barenboim’s Jewish land to be trained by Glander’s hearty teaching and to be filled with this clarinet sound, but is he also bumping off any Palestinian talents?

Clarinetist Matthias Glander is a great soloist, and this is why his music never works in an orchestra. I still don’t understand why he is stupidly pursuing his monthly salary from the Unter den Linden and ruining all the inside musical business, instead of enjoying his solo career, which should be more than brilliant.

Years ago, Mehta was in Korea with “his” VPO. I am still curious. Was there something he wanted to show me?

This has been my evaluation of Mehta’s conducting. I still think so.

He is standing in front of the mirror. He then turns on the CD-player and flourishes his baton in front of the mirror.

If he still wants to prove his talent… why worry? He can show me that he IS training his orchestra.

In Google Forum, there are pretty good opinions about the reason of Mehta’s fame: the superb job of the LA members or the recording engineer, etc…

Among them,

(Nov. 29, 2005) : “I’ve heard him perform live with the IPO all of the symphonies except for 2, 6, and 8. His performances range from the dull and uninspired (5 and 9) to the totally misconceived (4 and 7). I think that what people mean by “flashy” and “superficial” is his tendency to insert (or maybe assert) himself into the music by doing such things as making big ritardandos in places for which there is no particular musical justification. The only live Mahler performance by Mehta that I’ve really liked has been his performance of Mahler’s 3d, which I’ve heard him do twice. Someone more cynical than I says that I liked it because except for one passage in the first movement, one doesn’t actually need a conductor for Mahler’s 3d.”

(Feb. 19, 2004) : “I find that he has this tendency to overemphasize musical gestures — instead of letting them flow naturally from the music, he has to make sure that everyone in the hall knows that he knows they are there. That’s presumably why he likes conducting Mahler so much and why he is generally so bad at it. He tends to have little feel for the longer lines or how to present a piece as a coherent whole. That’s why his Beethoven and Brahms tend to be fairly not good.”

(May 4, 2004) : “[Let’s move on. If you want to spew hate, send it in the right directiojn—towards Zubin Mehta :-)] – I’ve said plenty of nasty things about Mehta’s conducting. But I would never spew hate towards him personally, since from everything I’ve ever seen, he is a perfectly decent human being, and his commitment to the IPO is of a kind that is very rare among big-name conductors nowadays.”

This posting is from Israel.

I am not Jewish. Therefore, I never know how to thank him for his Jewish achievement. I always think. How many Jewish real talents maestro Mehta has murdered since Barenboim brought Mehta into his Israel?

For the Jewish audience, he could be a poor conductor. But a “decent” gentleman who spills his sperms elsewhere he goes?

Well… I am still curious. How many female musicians offered their sex to maestro Mehta, and how many eventually conceived a child?

Story 5: Daniel Barenboim

5-1. Things that I can not understand.

“He was born in Israel. He started his French horn studies at the age of 11… After completing his Military Service in the IDF’s Orchestra as an outstanding musician, He was offered a horn player position with… He was invited by Maestro Barenboim to play Principle horn in his West-Eastern Divan orchestra, in which he performed in the Proms festival in London, Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany and in central European Cities. He appeared as a soloist with…”

This is Barenboim’s Divan member’s professional resume, which contents are no different from the one of Clevenger’s Civic players.

It reminds me of all my American memories…

At the Northwestern, the only reason of students’ life was to enroll in Clevenger’s Civic Orchestra. Rumors were spreading that I was Clevenger’s monkey, and the students suddenly started to greet me. But then, some of them even spat out some insulting words at my face, after checking that I was not going to pass Clevenger’s Civic audition.

Funny… More funny… That Barenboim was famous for his aversion to conduct his Civic orchestra. What is different from his job to train the young Civics and to conduct the young Divans? Both are eager to finish their life as a professional musician.

Except Barenboim, who cares the Middle East Peace?

Now that his Divans are becoming more and more professional, the situation goes like this. Are there any Jewish students, who would receive a full scholarship from the Harvard but refuse to go to America, because they can’t accept Arab students to study with them?

It’s a common sense.

Story 5+: Divan!execute.jspa?q=barenboim  

JIWON: Interesting opinions were found in this Reith-forum. This opinion has many responds. I am not in a position to judge each one’s opinion, so I provide this specific links so that you could read all of them if you want.  

Forumite A: “The current series of Reith Lectures delivered by DB is supposed to be about Barenboim’s views on music. But these lectures in reality are about DB… Barenboim’s cherry-picked West-Eastern Divan Orchestra – consisting of talented, young and privileged (that is educated) musicians from various Arab countries and Israel – is not only not a solution/help for the Israel/Palestinian conflict but it is an insult to all those Palestinian and Israeli people who have been working tirelessly for decades on the ground to bring about peace. Residing in Germany – as Barenboim does – and delivering occasional high profile, televised concert tours with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra seems a long way from the realities of the conflict on the ground. Indeed; Barenboim’s attitude to Palestinians and Israelis is unacceptably patronising. The theatrically staged five-city tour of the Reith Lectures and the televised tours with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra will keep and raise Barenboim’s profile outside the world of professional music but they will contribute neither to profound scholarship on music nor, indeed, to peace in the Middle-East.”

JIWON: What about this one?  

Forum-Host: “His founding of an orchestra, and his conversations with the Palestinian cultural critic, the late Edward Said, form the backbone of the fourth lecture. It’s called the West Eastern Divan orchestra… The audience questions are particularly direct, and one questioner provided a moving personal response to the question of how it can help: ‘when they play together they can create something which is more beautiful than what either alone can produce’… Acutely topical, the last two lectures have had to be moved from Ramalla to Jerusalem. This one is certain to provoke lively debate, surely the raison d’etre not only of the lectures but of this forum. ‘I feel, I suspect and I know that some of you might think the idea of Palestinians and other Arabs and Israelis together is unacceptable’. Are there some of you who do?”

Forumite B: “I think it is important to remember the difference between what DB and Edward Said started off to do – get a few young musicians (5 or 8 people?) to work together and ‘exchange narratives’; and what has developed out of that original aim – the founding of the Orchestra and the media hype around it. DB does keep saying music cannot solve the political problem – it can be a metaphor for the solution, i.e. dialogue (and more), but it is not a solution. I think we have to listen for when D.B. is talking directly about our experience with/of music and when he is using it as a wider metaphor for life.”

JIWON: Forum-Host is asking again. But this time, no one shows his interest… “Hello again, The lecture beagn with Music – the need for ‘give and take’ in expressing music, and ended with a prolonged ‘coda’ on aspects of the Middle-Eastern question… Might the initiative of the West-East Divan Orchestra result in Palestinians ‘whose families might want to kill Israelis’ making music together? – question from a commentator. And then the political ‘coda’- so much there to discuss! I’m sure topics galore will be posted.”

JIWON: If you still think I am over-reacting, What about this?  (March 27, 2006) Palestine Human Rights Campaign Deplores Jerusalem Quartet Support For the Israeli Occupation of Palestinian Lands  (March 28, 2006) Legendary musicians honoured in concert… When the Jerusalem Quartet return to New Zealand this April, they will bring an iconic musical instrument with them. late Jacqueline du Pre  (May 1, 2006) “Sometimes I feel the kind of energy that went from her into this instrument,” said Zlotnikov. “When I’m playing it, you can feel it.” Barenboim had given other musicians an opportunity to play du Pre’s cello, but the results were not good. “Some tried to play it and they weren’t happy with it, but in my hands it worked from the very first second,” Zlotnikov explained. “I am very happy with it.”


Yo-Yo Ma was honest when he explained something about his relationship with Du Pre’s cello. And I know his reason. Then… what kind of fucking boasting is coming from this Jewish pig?

Perhaps, I should openly analyze the difference between Du Pre’s tone making and the one of this male cellist.

Even the very basic is different. I promise. This Jewish cellist will enjoy even my insulting his name in this place. The things he needed from Bashkirova’s Jerusalem Festival, Barenboim’s Divan Ensemble, and even my New York writing was a public attention and his performance schedule booked elsewhere.

He boasts that others’ results were not good. I am real curious about them.

Am I still over-reacting if I compare Zukerman’s Cellist with this Jewish one?

Then, what about Barenboim’s other protégé, Palestinian pianist? I’ve followed his interviews, from Berlin to Jerusalem, and it was getting worse. Quickly changing his words from time to time, from place to place… The only thing he doesn’t change in his opinions: his talent as an international pianist, which is hardly appreciated by Jewish folks .

I dare to promise.

Thanks to Barenboim’s strong involvement in his professional career, it will be impossible to welcome the younger pianist from Palestinian talents.

Or this superficial pianism is the end of Palestinian talent?

How old are these and those Divans? They are toward 30. Don’t you think Divans should be teenagers, under 20? Barenboim Junior joined the Middle East Peace Project and now he wants to be a professional musician. Therefore, Daniel Barenboim now seems to believe that all the youngsters are talented prodigy whenever they play for the peace…

To be continued…

Sincerely yours,


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