This documentary leads us on Beethoven's footsteps: we follow eminent conductor Daniel Barenboim on tour across the world with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. For the first time indeed, they perform Beethoven's all nine symphonies in a row.
Founded by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said, the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra is formed of young musicians from Israel, Palestine, various Arab countries and Spain. The musicians, who are now regarded as "seasoned professionals" (The Independent), get together at least once a year for rehearsals and concerts, where their youthful joy in music–making leaps over national, ethnic and religious borders.
Over the course of three years Daniel Barenboim and his West–Eastern Divan Orchestra toured the world with all nine Beethoven symphonies. Filmmaker Michael Waldman joined the ensemble's rehearsals in Spain and the tour to South Korea and China to produce this singularly engaging documentary on the musical interpretation and performances, as well as on the musicians' thoughts and feelings on Beethoven – and on Barenboim.
The Maestro, with his "buckets of charm and a lovely turn of phrase" (The Telegraph) is "fired by a mission to prove how much music matters" (The Arts Desk). The tour culminates in a special rendition of the Ninth Symphony, the symphony that has become the musical symbol for freedom, on the border between North and South Korea.