For historical rather than musical reasons, Richard Strauss remains a controversial figure in Israel. It was not until 1996 that the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, under Zubin Mehta, its Music Director for Life, first performed the composer’s tone poem Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche.
This compelling documentary traces the sometimes tense rehearsal process. As its director Peter Berggren explains: “My intent was to breach the proscenium arch and draw television viewers directly into the world of the orchestra … I want viewers to share the perspective of the individual musicians and to participate in their interaction with the conductor.”
BBC Music Magazine wrote: "We see Zubin Mehta teaching an experienced world-class band a well-known piece from scratch. He is affable and charismatic, oozing enthusiasm but also technically exacting ... It is fascinating to watch the rehearsal process.”