Barenboim On Beethoven: Nine Symphonies That Changed The World

Confirmed for Saturday 28 July on BBC Two at 9.20pm- 10.50pm

Saturday 28 July



Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra take the complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies on tour to China and South Korea, to explore why these works are so often regarded as one of the greatest achievements of Western culture. A film by Michael Waldman and Peter Dale.

Barenboim and members of the orchestra reveal what it is about this music that is so striking today and what made Beethoven’s music so revolutionary at the time it was written. They address how Beethoven achieves his miraculous effects, how he created the modern symphony orchestra, and how he fundamentally changed the range of emotions a symphony could express.

Additionally, Barenboim speaks of how the symphonies have been both used and abused for political purposes. Their tour culminates in a performance of the 9th Symphony, next to the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. This documentary demonstrates the extraordinary continuing power of Beethoven to touch the human spirit.

A Rareday Production for BBC Two