Salute to Israel


Please enjoy this replay from Sunday, October 22, 2023, when the Israel Philharmonic, conducted by Lahav Shani, presented a special live concert to play hope-filled compositions to salute Israel and its people.

The program began with the Israeli national anthem, “Hatikvah”, followed by Paul Ben-Haim’s “Fanfare to Israel” and Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony, “Eroica.”

Maestro Lahav Shani addressed all the viewers during the broadcast –

Dear audience, listeners and friends around the world,

The Israel Philharmonic, founded in 1936 in order to save Jewish musicians and their families, has witnessed all the wars in Israel. We never believed that in our lifetime we would witness the violence and inhuman atrocities we saw in the massacre on Saturday, the 7th of October. We are concerned for the safety of the hostages and hope for their swift return. Our hearts go out to those killed, to their families, to all those who are wounded in body or in spirit, and to all who have lost their homes.

We stand with the soldiers, who are protecting us in these hours. We are tremendously inspired by the many heroic stories of the volunteer soldiers, ordinary citizens, neighbors and acquaintances, stories that are gradually revealed to us daily. The solidarity of all Israeli society is a ray of light in these dark times. The resourcefulness, cooperative spirit and willingness to volunteer inspire us and give us hope.

I ask myself, how is it possible to contain both this sense of distress and anguish alongside hope and yearning for life? In our daily life, this seems almost impossible. The grief and anger are so strong that it is difficult to feel anything else. But it is at these moments that music has incredible strength. Music can contain and reflect all of our feelings, side by side. This tremendous emotional complexity can be found in Beethoven’s Eroica. In Beethoven, there is room for lament, grief and loss, alongside hope, heroism, inner strength and fortitude. His message is one of brotherhood and solidarity. And solidarity is the source of our strength.

I would like to thank all our friends around the world who are listening to us now, and especially the President of the United States, Joe Biden, who stands with us in this difficult hour. Before we perform the piece, I would like to quote Leonard Bernstein’s words from sixty years ago, following the assassination of American President John F. Kennedy:

“Our music will never be quite the same. This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”

I wish us all better days.

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