GS Volume 2 Chapter 81

Volume 2 / Chapter 81

TL: LightNovelCafe


 

 

Two days before the first broadcast of the finals, Jo Hyung Joong and Jun Hyuk met with Fine Philharmonic and its conductor. They met on the stage where the 12 participants would appear with distinctly different and stylish looks compared to the preliminaries.

The music director and staff were also there to participate in the sound check for the orchestra’s live stage. A great sound needed to grace the 1st live stage of the finals.

“Hello, Teacher Jo. I am Hwang Suk Min.”

“Ah, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Jo Hyung Joong.”

Conductor Hwang Suk Min shook everyone’s hand lightly and turned to Jun Hyuk,

“I guess you’re the one who said all of those bitter words.”

Hwang Suk Min held Jun Hyuk’s hand firmly,

“Our expectations are great today. We’ve practiced a bit as well. Let’s see what kind of music comes from your piano and us.”

The orchestra’s tuning began and Hwang Suk Min who had finished his preparations spoke to Jun Hyuk,

“So, we need to try it out? See what kind of sound results.”

The conductor’s somewhat provocative words. And with the pressure of the 60 performers before their eyes, Jun Hyuk felt as though his head had been wiped blank.

“What are you doing? You have to sit in front of the piano.”

Jun Hyuk who had been standing awkwardly, took a deep breath and faced the piano at Hwang Suk Min’s sound.

There were 88 keys that he had seen countless times. It was a keyboard that he had played without anxiety or hesitation until now. But now, his fingertips shook at Conductor Hwang Suk Min’s gaze, who was asking if he was ready to perform with everyone.

It was the first orchestra he was meeting after he had started to earnestly listen to music and learn to play instruments. Jun Hyuk had always imagined playing with an orchestra while playing alone. He had not imagined that the provocative gazes of 60 performers and their conductor would be this heavy.

When Hwang Suk Min confirmed that Jun Hyuk had put his hands on the piano, he lifted his baton.

He winked to send a signal to Jun Hyuk and the baton sliced downwards through the air. Jun Hyuk could hear the intense melody of the stringed instruments. After just two verses ended, the music stopped.

“Jun Hyuk, don’t be nervous. Take a deep breath…..”

The performance had stopped because Jun Hyuk had lost the timing to start playing the piano. He could not press one key and just looked at his shaking hands.

His face became hot. He had insulted them saying that they could not read scores and could not concentrate, but he was the one who could not play the piano because of his shaking hands.

“I see this is our pianist’s first time performing with an orchestra. What do you think about playing by yourself first? All we’ve heard is a recorded file of our pianist’s performance. You might have something to criticize with us as well. Ha ha.”

“Then… Then I’ll try playing by myself and we can try again.”

“Okay. Take your time. We can rehearse over 100 times. It’s a big problem if we make a mistake like this on stage. I heard it’s a live broadcast? That means it’s a concert.”

Jun Hyuk took a deep breath and put his hands on the piano again. The 5 minutes performance ended, but the conductor did not show a satisfied expression.

“Our pianist has withered. I thought it’s the theme of a robot animation? A robot isn’t a newlywed or anything. I’m pretty sure it’ll be too calm.”

Jun Hyuk could not tell if Hwang Suk Min was assessing him or being sarcastic, but he became ardent at his laughter. Thanks to this, he released a lot of tension and found the will to fight back.

“There, then let’s try it for real.”

Hwang Suk Min smiled slightly at Jun Hyuk’s challenging tone.

He brought down his baton. Jun Hyuk was only looking at the end of the baton as it matched the sound of the stringed instruments, and put his fingers on the keyboard. They started to play together.

When the introduction ended and the 1st verse started, the piano’s melody began to overwhelm the stringed instruments. Not the climax, but the lyrical part.

Dolce!

It was a part that had to continue sweetly and softly. The explosion was still far away. However, this gentle piano was hitting down on the stringed instruments like a hammer.

The timing was perfect and there were no mistakes, but the pressure in the violin bows was reduced. Only 20 seconds had passed.

When Hwang Suk Min heard the sound of the strings fading, he used all of his strength to save it. But the violin and viola did not have the strength to withstand the power of the piano.

If they caved before the climax, the balance would collapse when the winds entered.

The conductor grit his teeth and tried to encourage them, but they eventually all fell after being dragged along by the piano. By the time the winds entered, the orchestra parts had become a mess and Hwang Suk Min stopped his baton.

Jun Hyuk also stopped playing the piano. Since one hand had stopped, it was awkward to play by himself.

“Oy, what an embarrassment. After performing in front of people who use art for vanity, we’ve met our match today.”

Hwang Suk Min laughed as he scratched his back with the baton.

Fine Philharmonics was made up of performers of similar standards, and they sold their tickets to an audience also of a similar standard. Half of those are invitations.

It was hard to say that the people who came for them had an affinity for classical, no for music. They wanted to wear the clothes of dignity from classical music, and filled their vanity by enjoying it. That is why their ticket prices had been decided on an amount that was just fit for these people.

The repertoire was monotonous. They could not get past Beethoven, Mozart, Bach. They became uncomfortable when they went over to Schumann, Toscanini, Mahler. Their audience was full of people who could not appreciate music that they were not used to.

Since they had rarely performed in front of an audience with sharp ears, the conductor and performers all became overwhelmed and faded away.

“I was told that you started playing the piano 2 years ago.”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“Self-educated?”

“Well… Almost.”

The 60 performers’ jaws dropped when they heard that he was self-educated, but Hwang Suk Min lightly nodded his head as though he had been expecting it.

“You have an overflowing energy because you’re wild and haven’t been tamed. We’re going to have a bit of a hard time today.”

Hwang Suk Min who had been scratching his head with the baton spoke in words that may or may not have been in jest.

“I provoked you for no reason. I shouldn’t have said anything about the robots or newlywed.”

Hwang Suk Min who had been blank for a moment, said something unexpected to Jo Hyung Joong and the music director,

“Do you by chance have some time?”

“Excuse me?”

“Do the other participants have rehearsals on this stage?”

“No. We left today completely empty.”

The music director knew that it would not be easy to practice with the full orchestra. This was not the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts or the Seoul Arts Center. There could be no mistakes in the live performance opening in 2 days because it was to be recorded as a track live. They needed today to be a perfect rehearsal.

“What do you think about warming up and then rehearsing the mission song?”

“Warming up?”

Jo Hyung Joong and the music director could not know the meaning of warming up and just blinked.

“Oh, it’s nothing really. Jun Hyuk’s piano is so strong that we need some time to get used to it. I would like to build our ability while playing a song that we are confident in together.”

“Oh, I see. I guess our ears will receive a treat because of this.”

The music director had an unexpected opportunity to listen to Jun Hyuk’s piano skills properly. If it is a song that the orchestra is confident in, it was bound to be a classical, a concerto.

On top of that, it was killing two birds with one stone because he could check the sound with their combined performance. The music director and Jo Hyung Joong settled themselves in to enjoy the music.

“Jun Hyuk. Can you play Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5?”

“Yes. You’re talking about ‘Emperor’?”

“That’s right. Should we try just the 2nd part?”

Skipping the 1st part to play the 2nd was an excellent choice.

The 1st part had a feeling of ‘clarity,’ ‘grandeur,’ and ‘strength,’ whereas the 2nd part would allow them to see an unhurried piano with a ‘bittersweet’ feeling. It could have been the best choice to calm Jun Hyuk’s assaultive piano.

It seemed Jun Hyuk could guess Hwang Suk Min’s intentions because his face relaxed.

“It was part of our repertoire a few days ago. Let’s try with that for fun. We would like to try playing something we’re more familiar with to learn to play with you.”

Hwang Suk Min stressed again that it was not to be a match between the piano and orchestra, but a performance to get to know each other. He knew better than anyone else that if Jun Hyuk were to show Beethoven’s force, the orchestra would collapse.

“Since it’s your first time playing in concert, let’s keep going even if there’s a mistake or something you don’t like. It’s just a warm up anyway. That’s okay?”

“Yes.”

Jun Hyuk’s heart started to race again. To play a piece by Beethoven! With an orchestra.

Until now, he had played Beethoven while imagining orchestra parts. At the thought that he would be playing with a real orchestra instead of imagining it, his anxiety disappeared and instead was full of anticipation.

“If anyone has an extra score, can you give it to our pianist?”

“It’s okay. I memorized all of the parts.”

“Really? Seeing as you’re able to memorize it, you must have practiced it a lot.”

Hwang Suk Min who had been turning his head from Jun Hyuk thought of what he had just said.

All of the parts!

It could not be?

“Hang on. When you say you memorized all of the parts, do you mean…..?”

“Right. I memorize all of the parts.”

The noise of scores rustling on stands stopped. Had they heard correctly? Could they have misheard something? Was it possible to remember all of the sounds that an orchestra needed to make?

“This… well I’ve taken a hit. You memorize scores whole? How much do you have to practice to memorize scores?”

Hwang Suk Min and the other performers knew of Jun Hyuk’s past through the broadcast and press. After wandering as an orphan, it had only been 2 years since he started music. It seemed an impossible feat even if he had only practiced Beethoven nonstop.

“You’re not one of those geniuses we see in dramas who can listen to a song once and memorize the entire score, are you?”

Jun Hyuk’s gaze at Hwang Suk Min without response gave the answer. He was that kind of person. Jun Hyuk’s heart started to race again. To play a piece by Beethoven! With an orchestra.
Until now, he had played Beethoven while imagining orchestra parts. At the thought that he would be playing with a real orchestra instead of imagining it, his anxiety disappeared and instead was full of anticipation.
“If anyone has an extra score, can you give it to our pianist?”
“It’s okay. I memorized all of the parts.”
“Really? Seeing as you’re able to memorize it, you must have practiced it a lot.”
Hwang Suk Min who had been turning his head from

“It couldn’t be?”

He was so surprised that he dropped the baton in his hand.

“Really? You can listen to something once and memorize all of the parts?”

“Yes.”

Hwang Suk Min was speechless. They were also going through a camera test for the live broadcast in 2 days. There were 3 cameras rolling at the moment. The staff members who had been watching their conversation through the camera lens were also speechless.

“Ah, it’s not all songs. I can’t seem to memorize lyrics of even short pop songs.”

He can’t memorize 3 minutes of lyrics, but he can memorize an enormous amount of notes? No one on the stage could understand.

“Then don’t you forget what you memorized?”

“No.”

This meant that there were hundreds of songs saved in Jun Hyuk’s head. When beginning studies to become a conductor, they had to memorize the 50 songs that are played most first. No, they had to study until they memorized them. They had to read a score as they listened to the music countless times to memorize one song. Still, all conductors without exception conducts while looking at a score. They always have a score to check just in case something unexpected happens.

Hwang Suk Min had been impressed by the image of Jun Hyuk’s talent that he had seen on broadcast – arranging a song on the spot, playing the drums incredibly to perfect a song. The piano he had just shown was only capable with a first-class pianist who ruled an orchestra.

This is not a flash of talent. Is he not the second Mozart?

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