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David Frost’s final interview: Daniel Barenboim

The great broadcaster, whose death was announced today at 74, served his last stint on the Qatar-funded Al-Jazeerah station. There, last month, he broadcast a final, gently probing, ever-enthusiastic interview with the conductor Daniel Barenboim.

You can watch the final Frost by clicking here.

frost barenboim

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  1. Thanks for this Norman!

  2. Neil van der Linden says:

    What has the world come to?! Daniel Barenboim on Al Jazeera and the daughter of Edward Said, who collaborated with Barenboim, in Haaretz.

    Anyway one of the standard-bearers of tough but fair interviewing has gone.

    • What has the world come to? With media appearances like those, it’s coming toward, at least, the place Said wanted and Barenboim wants.

      • Neil van der Linden says:

        Dear MWnyc, of course I fully agree with you! Some lines need blurring, that will make the world a better place.

  3. What a loss.

  4. Thany you so very much for posting this!

  5. Alexander Brown says:

    I speak as a musician: as Barenboim puts it, music is an expression of our humanity – and Barenboim is without doubt music’s greatest champion of humanity! This interview has allowed us to hear Barenboim’s views as never before – I am so grateful for this, and grateful that there are such men in this strife-torn world who try to bring people together instead of fuelling their differences.

    • Neil van der Linden says:

      Her is a nice story about Selim Sednaoui, Egyptian pianist and arts patron, who stood at the cradle of Barenboim’s and Edward Said’s project the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Very insightful. That was 1998.

      • Alexander Brown says:

        Fascinating! Curiously enough, I was born in Alexandria, Egypt, of a Scottish father and an Italo-Maltese mother. My father was in the Royal Air Force, sent to Egypt just before World War II, where he met and married my mother (I was born just after the war). We left Egypt in 1947, so my memories of Egypt are all based on the recollections of my parents. Said’s ambivalence about language and culture is hardly surprising: Alexandria was an amazing cosmopolitan city (as was Cairo), where Muslims, Christians (catholics, protestants, orthodox) and Jews lived and worked together without the hideous divisions that now seem to separate them so tragically. Everybody spoke at least two languages (my mother spoke Italian, French, Greek and Egyptian Arabic, her sisters also spoke German, having been educated in a German convent).
        During the war, my mother’s Italian friends found themselves enclosed in a ghetto set up by the British (she herself was not among them, since her father was Maltese), but friends from outside were allowed in at weekends, bringing in party food and wine – and not least, musicians who joined with the ‘inmates’ to form bands, performing dance music and singing their hearts out. My father was not allowed in, being a member of the military – but he would crawl under the barbed wire in an unguarded spot to join my mother and her friends in the merrymaking (for which he could have been court-martialled and possibly executed!). Even war could not break such strong friendships…
        As a (much less renowned) musician, it has been my privilege and pleasure to live and work in various countries, the shared language of music making it the easiest thing in the world to settle and adapt to the different cultures and social customs. Every time I see the West-East Divan Orchestra perform it simply breaks my heart and I often sit in front of the TV with tears streaming down my face, a mixture of joy and utter sadness that great men like Said and Barenboim have had to perform this act of courage and defiance in setting up the orchestra, which would have been totally unnecessary 80 years ago (outside Hitler’s Germany).
        … and yes, the political issues will never be solved until people are allowed to opportunity to come together and create the will to solve them from their hearts. Politicians alone can never do this, because their credo is based on scoring political points against their opponents, not creating a world in which we can all live in harmony (to use a musical metaphor!).

        • Neil van der Linden says:

          Thank you for your beautiful personal addiction, Mr Brown (with your very apt first name).

          Although it is about Cairo mostly – while it starts in Spain – , this may also bring back some memories to you:

          • Alexander Brown says:

            Yes, I was actually named after the city! Claudia Roden’s book on Middle-Eastern food has been part of my kitchen for over 40 years… Its pages are yellowing and it is falling apart because I use it so often. It has been my companion in all the countries I have lived in – I suppose I should buy a new copy, but I can’t bear to part with it, because so many meals have been made for my friends with its help and the memories of those happy times are attached to the book itself. Thanks for this addition too!

          • Neil van der Linden says:

            Thanks for this. Some minds aspiring for at least a little bit of greatness sometimes think alike… ;-)

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