John Berger renames Beethoven concerto “Concerto for piano and orchestra n. 5, the Intifada”

John Berger, the British writer, painter and art critic, (in short: one of the most important European intellectuals), last Sunday sent an email to friends near and far. Here it is:

“The Ludwig van Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no. 5 evokes a happiness that is almost without limits and that, for this reason, neither he nor we can have. The concert was called the Emperor. It leads us to a horizon of happiness that we cannot cross.

Today I send it to the Palestinian students who are demonstrating at the checkpoint of Beit El, at the entrance to Ramallah. They, too, are inspired by a vision of happiness that in their lives are not in a position to know.

I send them the concert so that they will use it as a weapon in the fight against the Israelis who occupy and colonize their land.

Beethoven approves. Politics is close to his heart. His third symphony, the Eroica, was inspired by Napoleon when he was a freedom fighter and before he became a tyrant.

For one day, let’s change the name to the Emperor and call it:Concerto for piano and orchestra n. 5, the Intifada.”