And he goes on to say, 'She has a point, and a very strong one. All creeds are respected in the orchestra's mission statement, but where some Muslim players maintain their observances and their pride in an ethical heritage, none of the Jewish Israelis, least of all their secular conductor, appears to show more than liberal disdain for the archaic rules of a discarded faith culture.
This is a serious shortcoming. Religious faith of all degrees, from mild affinity to wild fanaticism, lies at the heart of the Middle East conflict. If the Diwan does not represent all forms of faith, its role in the peace dialogue cannot be more than an ephemeral gesture.' It's created quite a stir!
In a follow-up post, he makes this statement, 'Whatever one's personal beliefs, however, all musicians ought to be aware that without religion there would be no music for them to play. It was the church that laid the foundations for symphonic music and a search for God that led most of the great composers to write as they did. Beethoven may have been anti-authority and Verdi anti-clerical, but with the lone exception of Richard Wagner it is hard to find a major composer before the 1918 who actively denied the existence of God and was not driven to compose by a religious impulse.' Again, the response is lively!
But then, for some pure entertainment, Tom Service, in his Guardian blog, directs us to an extraordinary performance of the Flight of the Bumble Bee, by The Philharmonics here. Sometimes you think you've heard it all, and then!