Friday, September 2, 2011

UK Boycott Group Interrupts Israeli Philharmonic Performance

Press Release from Bethovians for Boycotting Israel
A new vocal ensemble, Beethovians for Boycotting Israel (BBI), gave its debut performance at a Prom concert at the Royal Albert Hall yesterday evening.

Their first piece was intricately interwoven with Webern's Passacaglia, played by guest artists the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO).

"We thought we'd liven up the Webern a bit" said Deborah Fink (soprano).  "The performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony at the previous night's Prom was so exciting that we decided to treat the audience to our own version of the Ode to Joy".

The lyrics of the BBI's "Ode to Boycott" have an unmistakeably Beethovian ring:

Israel, end your occupation:

There's no peace on stolen land.

We'll sing out for liberation

'till you hear and understand.

Ethnic cleansing and apartheid
Should belong to history.
Human rights cannot be silenced:
Palestine will soon be free.

A performance of the piece, recorded earlier by the BBI Chamber Choir, can be heard here:
Sue Blackwell (alto), who penned the alternative lyrics, said: "We think Ludwig would have approved.  He was known to be a bit of a subversive who had no time for conventions, and he admired the French Revolution with its themes of 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity'.  Sadly, Israel represents the exact opposite of those ideals."
Footage of the demonstration and pro-Israel counter-demonstration outside the Hall can be seen here: