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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall

West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

The Annual Isaac Stern Memorial Concert
Thursday, November 8, 2018 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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Daniel Barenboim by Peter Adamik
The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra—founded by Daniel Barenboim and the late Palestinian literary scholar Edward Said—promotes coexistence and intercultural dialogue by bringing young Israelis, Palestinians, and Arabs together to make music. For this concert, they tell great musical tales in vibrant orchestral colors and lush melodies. Strauss assigns the cello the role of the beguiled Don in a work that vividly portrays episodes from Cervantes’s famous Don Quixote. Tchaikovsky’s work may not tell a literal story, but fate and doubts figure prominently, and he gives voice to all in a gripping journey from darkness to triumph.


West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
Daniel Barenboim, Music Director and Conductor
Miriam Manasherov, Viola
Kian Soltani, Cello


R. STRAUSS Don Quixote
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5
Introduction to the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

The Trustees of Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Richard A. Debs in support of the 2018-2019 season.

Public support for Carnegie Hall Live on WQXR is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

UBS is the Principal Partner of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.

At a Glance

This concert presents orchestral works by two 19th-century symphonic masters at the height of their powers. Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony has become a universal emblem of struggle against adversity. Based on a chorale-like theme intoned at the beginning, it begins forlornly and moves toward optimism and affirmation. Many believe that it represents Tchaikovsky’s struggles with his homosexuality and fear of being outed. Nonetheless, the luscious horn solo in the slow movement, the charming waltz (based on a street singer’s song the composer heard in Florence), and the exultant major-key transformation of the chorale in the Finale depict a triumph over anxiety and trauma that Tchaikovsky was able to work out in his music, if not in his life. Strauss’s Don Quixote, a tone poem that spotlights solo viola and cello, is more mercurial and fantastical, as a portrait of Don Quixote should be. It has some of Strauss’s most soaring orchestral crescendos, but also his most delicate and subtle effects. Strauss meant it to be a companion piece to the far heavier and more aggressive Ein Heldenleben, in which Strauss himself is the hero.

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