You don't have to be a devotee of Handel – and estimations of his place in the musical canon differ – to appreciate the vision and planning that went into yesterday's Handel Day, arranged by the European Broadcasting Union, or to have enjoyed the result. Listeners feasted on 17 hours of live music relayed, as the world turned, from almost everywhere to almost everywhere else. But Handel Day was just one of many treats of cross-border music-making in recent days.
Daniel Barenboim received a standing ovation after becoming the first prominent Israeli musician to perform in Egypt. He conducted the Cairo Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven's Fifth. Only a few days before, an orchestra made up of musicians from all over the world had made its debut at New York's Carnegie Hall; the players had been selected via audition on YouTube. Here in Britain, the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra from Venezuela has just concluding a triumphant five-day residency at London's Royal Festival Hall. Even as the economic crisis threatens to drive the world apart, music is helping to bring it back together.