When I was young (and still living at home obviously!), my Dad used to take me to violin concerts. I think I didn’t know any better at the time, but we did see some great concerts. I do remember actually sitting on the Perth Concert Hall stage watching Yehudi Menuhin play!
Last night, I had another date with my Dad. We went to see WASO, primarily to see, really listen, to the Beethoven Violin Concerto. The soloist last night was Kyoko Takezawa. I must admit, I hadn’t heard of her before, but her resume is quite impressive.
And so she came on stage, quite small, but polite and smiley. WASO started with a reduced orchestra, maybe too reduced as I was missing that really warm string section sound. When Kyoko started playing, you could see the emotion she was drilling into her violin. From where we were sitting, very crystal clear playing and spot on intonation, and even though she played really well, it wasn’t doing anything for me yet.
And then the cadenza for for the First Movement came. And suddenly there was magic. I was totally captivated, hanging off every note. And I think the whole of the packed Perth Concert Hall was too. It was like we were all hypnotised, mesmorised by her solo violin, singing out the multiple rising voice lines. The end of the cadenza was most beautiful, and I think she must have inspired or lifted wASO up a notch because they came to the party too.
The audience applauded after the First Movement, but she deserved it. Magic.
That’s one of the reasons why I love classical music. When the feelings and emotions are poured out by the soloist, and connected directly with audience. It’s more than just “listening” to music, or your eardrums picking up vibrating air particles. Sometimes a connection is made, dare I say, at the soul level that can move you to tears.
It’s put me in a quandry now – she’s inspired me. Should I return to the Beethoven Violin Concerto? It’s one I started learning towards the “last” years of my violin days in my youth, but never finished. But I know from when I tackled it, it “seems” easy to play – mostly scales and arpeggios (except the candenza!). But it’s SO very hard to play it beautifully and maturely, to sing the legato lines.
The rest of the program featured the full, really full WA Symphony Orchestra. There’s something wonderful about getting that many good musicians together and really playing it out – the SOUND of a full symphony orchestra is uplifting!
If you can’t make it to the Perth Concert Hall tonight, iiNet will be streaming the WASO concert live here – http://media.iinet.net.au/index.cgi?id=waso, at 7.30PM Perth Time (GMT+8).