The Bayreuth concert - international press

Bayreuth Konzert
Standing ovations for the Israel Chamber Orchestra and Roberto Paternostro in Bayreuth. Patron Katharina Wagner, Major City of Bayreuth Dr. Hohl, Jonathan Livny (founder of the 1st Wagner Society  in Israel), president of the German Wagner Associations, Nicolaus Richter (City of Bayreuth).

Hatikva, Israeli National Anthem.
Israel Chamber Orchestra and Roberto Paternostro: playing Israeli National Anthem “Hatikva” in Bayreuth.

ARD Tagesschau (German)
ARD Tagesschau

ORF: Israeli Orchestra in Bayreuth (German)
ORF Zib 2 26. Juli 2011

Ha’aretz (Israel)
Israeli orchestra makes musical history by playing Wagner piece in Germany

TIME: [...] it would have been hard to find a more moving Idyll. When the orchestra stopped playing, the audience rose from their seats and the applause only began to ebb when the first violinist gave orchestra members the sign that they could start leaving the stage.

NPR Interview: All things considered
Audio file: http://www.npr.org/player/v2/me...amp;m=138724378 
Article: http://www.npr.org/blogs/decept...ayreuth?ps=cprs 

Agence France Press: Israeli orchestra wows Wagner’s Bayreuth
[…] the taboo-breaking event of around two hours, dominated by music by Jewish composers like Gustav Mahler and Felix Mendelssohn but finishing with Wagner's "Siegfried Idyll", has been a major talking point.
Katharina Wagner sat in the front row for Tuesday's concert, and Paternostro said he had given the bouquet that he received after the concert to her. "I just thanked her for her immense help," the Austrian told AFP.
"I have been coming to Bayreuth every year since 1951 and we have just seen a historic moment," Mechtild Habiger, 80, a member of the audience in Bayreuth on Tuesday, told AFP. "The standing ovation was well deserved."

Le Monde
Un orchestre israélien brise un tabou en jouant du Wagner
La 100e édition du Festival de Bayreuth, consacré à l'œuvre de Richard Wagner, s'est ouverte lundi dans la ville natale du compositeur allemand […].
Mais c'est un autre chef sur qui les yeux sont braqués cette année : à la tête de l'Orchestre de chambre d'Israël (OCI), Roberto Paternostro dirigera mardi à la mi-journée le poème symphonique Siegfried-Idyll.

Le Point
Triomphe pour l'orchestre israélien qui a défié le tabou wagnérien à Bayreuth

One thing that is clear from this week's events is that the chamber orchestra's action was widely and influentially supported in Germany. Angela Merkel, who knows and likes her Wagner and who is a regular attender at Bayreuth, has welcomed it, as have the Wagner family. No surprise there. It would be very misleading to claim that Bayreuth is in denial about its Nazi past, especially under the new generation who took over the festival from the composer's long-lived and conservative grandson Wolfgang, who died last year.
Yet it is also true that Bayreuth has not yet fully accounted for that past either. In an Israeli context, one can welcome the Israel Chamber Orchestra's decision to play Wagner's wonderful music.

Dance with the devil: an Israeli orchestra in Bayreuth

The hot ticket in Bayreuth on Tuesday will not be Die Meistersinger in the Festspielhaus, but an orchestral concert at the […] Stadthalle. That's assuming the Israel Chamber Orchestra goes ahead with its concert, so intense is the controversy provoked by its visit to the place which the street signs proclaim as Wagnerstadt – Wagner town. […]
The Siegfried Idyll will be the final work in a carefully constructed programme which
also features Prayer by the Israeli composer Tzvi Avni. Raveh (Israel Chamber Orchestra) says the concert will be an emotional occasion, and there is no chance of the orchestra pulling out because of protests back home. "We are committed to it 120%," he insists.

Conductor of the orchestra Roberto Paternostro said on Israeli TV it was time to separate Wagner's world view from his music. "He was a great composer and the aim in the year 2011 is to divide the man from his art," he said.
This was the first time an Israeli orchestra played Wagner in Germany.

Fox News
Roberto Paternostro, conductor of the Israel Chamber Orchestra, whose mother survived the Nazi genocide, defended the performance as some politicians in Israel asked for the ensemble's funding to be cut. "Wagner's ideology and anti-Semitism was terrible, but on the other hand he was a great composer," he said.

The Israel Chamber Orchestra will play a work by […] Richard Wagner in Germany Tuesday, challenging a seven-decade taboo in their homeland. […] orchestra conductor Roberto Paternostro said Sunday it was time to separate Wagner's worldview from his music. […] The orchestra will play Wagner's Siegfried Idyll, an orchestral piece, in Bayreuth, Germany, famous for its annual Wagner opera festival in July and August. […]
"It was a very difficult and rocky path to get to this point," Paternostro said earlier at a news conference. "There wasn't a moment when I had any doubts about this project."

So the Israel Chamber Orchestra’s performance of Siegfried Idyll at the Bayreuth opera festival today will be a bold musical statement, and a long-awaited one. It will be the first time, reportedly, that an Israeli orchestra has played Wagner in Germany.

El Mundo: Wagner, tabú roto
Histórica al ser la primera vez que una orquesta israelí interpreta en suelo alemán una obra de Richard Wagner, […] La orquesta interpretó el Himno Nacional israelí. Y algunos músicos que lloraron en ese momento.  […] El público se entregó a la interpretación de los músicos israelíes. Quizás por el talento, quizás por el tabú roto en la meca wagneriana.

Terra Argentina
Ovacionan en Bayreuth a orquesta israelí que interpretó música de Wagner


Paternostro's stance is noble.
Wagner tests the principle that aesthetic and ethical standards are independent. Art has to be judged in its own terms, not by the standards of its creator. And Wagner's art is great. It articulates emotions, including forbidden feelings, with a depth that compares to Shakespeare.
An Israeli orchestra's including Wagner in its repertoire instances the richness of the Jewish tradition of musical performance. But more, it testifies to the resilience of civilisation against a diseased philosophy.

A historic moment.

Paternostro said at a news conference, "There wasn't a moment when I had any doubts about this project it was my greatest conviction to bring these two sides Israel and Wagner together."

Corriere della Sera
L'Orchestra d'Israele suona Wagner a Bayreuth: si apre il caso
MILANO - Il festival di Bayreuth compie 100 anni e li festeggia con un colpo di teatro destinato a entrare nella storia e a suscitare polemiche e dibattiti. L'inaugurazione dell'altra sera con Tannhäuser rischia di venir oscurata dall'evento di stasera. Quando, in contemporanea con Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg di scena nel tempio della Festspeilhaus, in un'altra sala della città bavarese, la Stadhall, l'Israel Chamber Orchestra suonerà Wagner.

German articles available: http://www.robertopaternostro..../menu33/news32/ 

  • Hatikva, Israeli National Anthem.
  • Bayreuth Konzert