Friday, February 15, 2013


Gustavo Dudamel is reflecting on whether he will visit Israel again after twice being subjected to prolonged and uncomfortable interrogations on entering and leaving the country at Ben Gurion Airport.
It appears that the star conductor was singled out as a citizen of Venezuela, whose president, Hugo Chavez, is notably aggressive towards Israel.  Dudamel was subjected to tedious, hostile and intrusive questions from immigration and Shin bet agents.
On the one hand, Israel's security methods appear to be far more efficient and effective than those of the US, but on the other hand, this kind of treatment of a great musician is just absurd. In a civilized society people who acted in this way would be punished.
  •  This reminds me of previous stories about demonstrations at Wigmore Hall in London on the occasion of a concert by an Israeli string quartet. The politicization of every aspect of life is a horrible trend. And by the way, inserting gratuitous political commentary into your introductory remarks at a concert is just as offensive. No matter who you are praising or blaming.
  • Here is an update on the story of the broken cello bow.
Tomorrow evening I am going to hear a cello/piano concert. On the program is the second of Bach's great suites for solo cello that I am preparing a guitar transcription of. "Transcription" may be too fancy a word: my adopted method of approaching the cello suites on guitar is simply to change the key to one that suits the guitar's open strings. I don't add any notes. Here is the great Jacqueline du Pre playing the first three movements of the 2nd Cello Suite by Bach. Recorded when she was only seventeen:

 The Second Cello Suite is rather darker and more dramatic than the other suites, all but one of which are in major keys.

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