A West-Eastern Divan

Gardens of Paradise

Feast and Banquet,
Intoxication and Ecstasy,
God and Faith
in the Real and Imaginary Orient

Recitation: Dominique Horwitz

Dominique Horwitz and Ensemble Sarband roam
through the festive spaces of the Old and New Orient,
tell of intellectual encounters
and collective immersion
in the ecstasies of wine and mysticism.


In the West, the Persian word «divan» is mainly used for the piece of furniture on which people sit down together.

In the Orient, however, a divan is a meeting of political, philosophic, or festive nature. 

The term also stands for a collection of poetry arranged according to strict rules
with the aim to convey wisdom and life experience. 

- «Life and vocation of the poet» 

- «Intoxicated by power» 

- «The poet in the tavern»

Texts: Charles-Pierre Baudelaire (1821-1867): The Flowers of Evil
Heinrich Heine (1797-1856): Ali Bei
Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi (1207-1273): Divan
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - Hafiz: West-Eastern Divan 

Music: Courtly and traditional Ottoman music of the 16th-19th centuries 

Selection of texts and music: Vladimir Ivanoff

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«Praise of drunkenness - Enchanting homage to Hafiz and Rumi - An exhilarating, downright intoxicating experience at sunset, under the open sky, with no hangover the morning after» Reinhald Kalb, HFN, 06.08.14

«Intoxicating poetry and timeless music created an exhilarating sound space, enriched by the twittering of birds,
swooshing of leaves and some raindrops. The composition of traditional Franconian atmosphere,
Turkish and Persian tradition and German romanticism enchanted the audience.» Jens Voskamp, NN (Germany), 05.08.14

«Alternating with the musical performance, actor Dominique Horwitz enthusiastically reads excerpts
from various poetical works – from Baudelaire to Heine and to pieces from Goethe's collection «West-Eastern Divan».
This soiree is about wine and passion, intoxication and ecstasy – but essentially about God and faith.
Vladimir Ivanoff is the musical director, equally captivating as a percussionist as well as responsible for the choice of poetry and music. Mustafa Doğan Dikmen enchants the audience with his ney and his vocal art. Celaleddin Biçer, ney and kanun,
and Ahmet Kadri Rizeli with his bowed string instrument Kemençe provided unique sounds.
The music is supplemented with Dominique Horwitz' singular recitation, whose passion and masterful mimic art
turn this poetry into an extraordinary experience.»Noreen Hirschfeld, Göttinger Tageblatt
(Germany), 23.09.2010

«A feast with atmosphere … They performed stirring festive pieces from old and new Orient …
The «divan»– in the Orient a gathering of political, philosophical and festive nature –
became a fest to join in for everybody.» Delmenhorster Kreisblatt (Germany) , 24.09.2010

West Eastern Diwan



Goethe / Hafiz &
«Dök zülfünü»
Live: Niedersächsische Musiktage 9-2010
Goethe / Hafiz & Gazel
Live: Niedersächsische Musiktage 9-2010















D. Horwitz