I clicked on this link wondering what I was going to hear for the next hour. Contrary to what I thought it was magnificent and captivating. While the music played, I pondered what the musicians were thinking. For a lot of the musicians, playing in the YouTube Symphony Concert is the dream they aspire to, and for those that were able to reach that goal, it is their greatest accomplishment of their careers. I found the music ingenious, creative, and alluring to my mind and mood at time I was listening. I learned at a young age how elite Carnegie Hall was and what a privilege it would be to perform any kind of art there.
Considering the exclusiveness of those hand-selected to perform in Carnegie Hall I was overjoyed with what I saw. It was almost as if I knew the musicians, I felt proud they were all at the peak of their careers, and I was able to witness it. What I appreciated most was the amount of cultural diversity. It was like the United Nations under one building, absolutely heavenly. I could only imagine how thrilled the musicians must have felt to be chosen and playing with those of comparable if not better talent. The first piece was inviting and set the tone of what was to come. The audience was engaged, waiting, and wanting more.
Or perhaps that was just me. You could tell that the orchestra and conductor were thoroughly enjoying the music they were playing. The gentlemen that played the large drums, which I think are called the tympani, was exceptionally fixated in his position, the camera seemed to enjoy him as well. Although he left me in question, inquiring why he put his ear next to the drum once the piece concluded. The second piece got the party started; if your attention was slipping away, it was most definitely grabbed back at this moment. It was a percussion piece that I truly appreciated!
I believe that percussionists need to have a strong sense of concentration and precision, and that’s one of the reasons that I find it fascinating to watch. In the beginning, I was not foreseeing to like this piece at all because I was displeased when the guitar started playing in the beginning. Nonetheless, aside from the guitar, there was such variety of percussion instruments. It started with a very unusual instrument, the best way I can describe it is as a tribal whistle, and if I am not wrong it’s called the ocarina (I think that was probably my favorite part of this piece).
They also use very odd instruments to play during the piece. I was blown away with the lady from the video, and I notice that the timber of the marimba from the video was different then when she played in stage. The guitar didn’t seem to fit, however, as time went on, I began to see where it was qualified. Sounds of all the percussion instruments were dominating. Some parts of this piece were a little rattled here and there with noises out of nowhere, almost considered out of touch just they made it work. Maybe that was the perception they were going for, either way it was interesting.
The third piece seemed to bring great attention to the bassoonists, and they were really getting into the music. This is something that I am not use to seeing, or at least to the few concerts that I been to. The bassoonists that I have seen so far in concert, they just sit still without a lot of physical emotions when they are playing in stage. I think this is due partially because of how clunky and hefty their instruments are. The instrument is grand in size; the details of the anatomy are startlingly impressive. The oboist, flutes, and clarinets were so charming, they presented with such elegance and delicacy.
All of the musicians had such control over their breathing techniques, they didn’t miss a beat. Absolute sophistication and refinement of all the musicians in this piece was heavily displayed. It was very much in tune and flowed wonderfully, quite the difference from the previous pieces. One of my favorite part of this piece was when the tempo went from grave to presto. The fourth piece was like a greeting of Alice in the Wonderland, “off with their heads. ” I could see it playing in her court as she drinks tea with the other characters.
The facial muscles, mainly the buccinators, are highly exercised in this piece. The musicians are blowing with great precision and accuracy to hit the notes and be in tune with one another. In my opinion, they are doing an exceptional job in keeping the rhythm going. It was enjoyed and captured my attention the entire time. The men produced a pleasing visual and auditory combination of entertainment. I was thrilled seeing the French horns, trombone, and the trumpet played in this piece. The fifth piece was performed by Joshua Roman, who was privileged to have a solo in this concert.
He is a genius when it comes to playing the cello. I have seen other videos of him on YouTube, and I love his style, his technique, and form. This trumps all pieces that I listened to prior; this is most definitely my favorite one. If it were food, my palate would be satisfied, the seasonings would be of the finest ingredients, all organic, followed by a glass of the world’s most widely recognized white wine. When I listened to the piece, I felt as though I were floating, there was not a concern in my mind, I was at complete and utter peace with myself and all surroundings.
I listened to this piece several times because I truly wanted to absorb every note, and I wanted to savor it until the last stroke. With the previous videos, as I was paying attention to the musicians, I was also playing attention to the video biography. With this piece, I didn’t even notice the art that was showing in the background. It was truly phenomenal and breathtaking! In the sixth piece, I really liked what the guy from Romania said. He point out that it doesn’t matter where you come from because in music everyone speaks the same language. He also said how a musician is able to create art between the audience and the players.
This is going to sound random, but when I was listening to this piece, I imagined that I was watching a movie in black and white, and the only sound that I could hear was the music that was playing in the background. When this piece was playing, there was a couple that were having an argument between them. It started slow-motion, legato, and it was heartbroken at first with practically an eerie and spooky violin solo, and it was as if the man was begging for the forgiveness from his lover, and you can tell by his body language that he felt guilty and penitent for what he has done to her.
Suddenly, the dynamic and the tempo changed abruptly. I imagined the woman to be enraged and furious for what her lover had said earlier. Next the tempo became virtually frenetic. I got the feeling when the violins broke into two sections, one section was playing really fast and the other section was playing really slow, it felt as if someone was sending a signal and someone else was responding to the signal, but not utterly. It was as if the couple was disagreeing and disputing back and forth. I was in awe and amazement over how the musicians were able to bring life and emotions to this song.
This was an alluring and intriguing piece to watch. The seventh piece was from Richard Wagner – Ride of the Valkyries from Die Walkuere. I had never heard of him until I watched this concert. I read his biography online, and I must say that I didn’t like some of his political views. Although this piece had an extravagant style, most of his work has to do with his anti-Semitism views, and also the utmost views how western society was ruined because of the interbreeding of people from different racial backgrounds.
When I was listening to this piece, I couldn’t help to wonder if Hitler would have loved Wagner because of his extreme views. Even though Wagner was already dead when the Nazi movement was happening, but one can only wonder the what if. Apart from all of this, I must admit that that I admired the sharp skill that it took for the musicians to possess in order to play this song. I would point out that the trombones were actually pleasant to watch.
Another thing that I was astonished to witness was the precision and rigor in which the musicians bowed the violin’s stings. Even though I personally may not like Wagner because of the whole extreme views that he had, I must say that I had a good time in watching this piece being played by the orchestra. Before I watched the concert, I read the biography online about how they started this concept, and I was astonished as to how they made this symphony concert a reality, and I have much respect and admiration for creating such a marvelous and magnificent concert.
I would like to say that the orchestra and the conductor did a wonderful job. Overall, I must say that I truly had an enjoyable time and I was pleased in watching this concert. I didn’t think I would have liked watching a concert online versus watching the concert live, but I was wrong because I was entertained and amused throughout the whole concert. I will have to reconsider watching concerts online for the future. I am going to send this concert to a few of my friends, so they can also enjoy this masterpiece.