Volume 3 / Chapter 111
[TN: Friendship. Such a sweet thing.]
Everyone finished the 20 fierce days of Long Thibaud and returned. However, the results had not been good. According to Danny, it was a breakthrough for East Asia and annihilation for America.
Korean, Chinese, and Japanese participants’ names were on the list of runner-ups, but there was not a single American. This is not talking about American as a nationality, but as the place where the participants completed their studies.
It was to the point where students who had the competition as their priority were considering moving to a school in Europe.
“Jun, I’m going to go out for Long Thibaud no matter what the year after the next.”
Danny was full of confidence after seeing the participants’ abilities with his own eyes.
“Let’s go out for it together. With your piano, you’re definitely a winner.”
Danny had heard the pianists who had been labeled as being at a high overall level. However, he had not heard a piano that made his heart beat as much as Jun Hyuk’s did.
“No. It isn’t my dream to become a pianist.”
“Of course I know that. But you should know that a lot of composers are famous pianists.”
“Anyway, I don’t want to. If you want, I can do the accompaniment for you.”
“I don’t want that. It’s obvious that the accompanist will overshadow the performer. Am I crazy?”
Danny was extremely jealous of Jun Hyuk’s talent but there were a lot of times when he thought that it was a relief that Jun Hyuk had not chosen to play the piano. He thought it a relief that this tremendous competitor, a competitor that he could never follow, had chosen composition.
On top of that, if he shows his music to this future maestro, Jun Hyuk might compose a song with his violin in mind.
“Jun, tell me honestly. What do you think of my violin?”
“You’re good. Have confidence.”
“Then why is the song for the performance a piano concerto? Don’t you need to write a violin song for me, your best friend?”
He spoke as though joking, but his tone was full of regret.
“That? That’s nothing really. It’s just a practice song.”
He was chosen for the performance with a practice song? Danny had already seen Jun Hyuk’s score on the internet. If that song is just a practice song, what is a real one like? Danny remembered the title of that song.
“Oh right, it said the title of that song is Piano Concerto No. 7… Then doesn’t that mean there are 6 other songs?”
“That’s right. I wrote them while I was in Korea.”
“By chance, do you have the scores with you?”
Jun Hyuk tapped his head with his fingers.
“So the songs are in your head and the scores are in Korea.”
When Danny saw Jun Hyuk nod his head, he spoke in a quiet voice,
“Then do you have a song for the violin?”
“Of course I do. Why? Do you want to see it?”
“It’d be an honor, maestro.”
Danny rotated his arms and bowed.
Jun Hyuk took out sheet music and started writing notes quickly. Danny’s eyes quickly followed the notes from beside Jun Hyuk. When Jun Hyuk completed the score within moments, Danny quickly took it.
“If I finish practicing this song, you’ll play the accompaniment?”
“Let’s show this at the concert.”
As Jun Hyuk suddenly started laughing, Danny’s eyes widened.
“Why are you laughing?”
“I played around with that a little while I was arranging it. If you want to play that perfectly, you’ll have to practice that like crazy this winter break. And if you can play that song completely, you’ll be good enough to go out for the competition.”
Danny’s widened eyes did not come back to their original state. Had he made it so that he could practice?
Though Jun Hyuk always seemed indifferent, he was very considerate of others at times like this. Danny was touched and hugged Jun Hyuk, kissing his cheek.
Bruno Kazel decided to stay in New York until the Philadelphia Philharmonic’s Christmas concert with the excuse of the Clayton performance. Once he arrived in New York with his whole family, he left them at the hotel and headed to Clayton.
Unlike the conductors who usually arrived at the school 2 days before the concert, he had come to New York a week before. The students cheered at the maestro’s surprise visit. The maestro smile and was friendly to anyone who approached him and spoke informally with the students.
Of course he drank coffee with the professors as they discussed the defeat at Long Thibaud.
“Then can I meet the leaders of the concert?”
“Yes. Would you like to start with the orchestra members?”
“No. I was hoping to meet the composers first. I’m sure I should get information on the songs first. Also, it may be uncomfortable, but I wanted to meet them separately. One at a time.”
The professors were puzzled because they did not know why he wanted to meet them separately, but they had to think that he had his own reasons.
Alexander Dubchek could not let go of Bruno Kazel’s hand and was full of awe.
There is a reason why the students are in a craze over Bruno Kazel. He is someone who demands novelty so much so that he is called an innovative conductor. He prefers contemporary music to classical or romantic music and he often includes jazz into his repertoire. He does not even hesitate to work with pop musicians who are not very famous.
When he was inaugurated as the conductor and music director of the Philadelphia Philharmonic, he put a joint performance with South American jazz greats on his first stage against the opposition of the Board of Directors.
Local supporters pressured the Board of Directors for his dismissal even though there were 3 years left to his contract. The Board of Directors were going to kick him out with the resolution to pay the contract fees, but they all kept their mouths shut when his live performance album had a sales rate of 4 million copies.
This Bruno Kazel was receiving the overwhelming support of young musicians.
While Bruno Kazel looked at Alexander who could not let go of his hand, he suddenly remembered something,
“Are you by chance that Dubchek? Of Prague?”
It is a modest response, but his voice was full of pride.
“I see. I used to enjoy your grandparents’ music… I didn’t know you’d be the grandson. I guess it’s in the genes?”
A family with three generations of music. This is common in Europe.
“It seems your mother had a great influence seeing as how you chose the oboe.”
“It was a question of choice rather than influence.”
“Your parents must be proud. You excel in composition, not just the oboe.”
It could be that this young Czechoslovakian musician has more talent in composition than he does in the oboe.
“Then should we discuss the song? Should I say that it’s fun? It even has a comical feeling to it… How did you come to write it?”
“I once saw three women having a picnic in Central Park. I could not tell if they were single moms or housewives, but while the children were running around on their own, the women looked like they had been freed.”
Alexander recalled the moment he thought of the music and started chattering his explanation.
“They had looked annoyed while they were holding the children’s hands before they found their spots on the park lawn.”
“So you’re saying that you saw the change in their expressions and guessed what they were thinking?”
He had found music in an unexpected moment. It meant that he is extremely sensitive.
“But I couldn’t feel that openness or joy in your music.”
“Because those women also know that it is only for that quick moment. When they return to their daily lives, they’ll have to endure the stress of clashing with their children.”
He had expressed a feeling that anyone who had cared for a child could agree with.
“Ha ha. It’s so realistic. I know that feeling. I have three kids. None of them are over 10 years old yet. It’s really war everyday.”
Bruno Kazel was pleased and laughed loudly.
“But why sopranos instead of the oboe? Isn’t your major the oboe?”
“I tried it a few times, but the three women’s feelings did not come out no matter what I did. A better player might have been able to… But I thought a direct depiction would be better and chose the sopranos.”
“Right. The oboe is a gentleman’s instrument. It would be difficult for anyone to try to express a young mother’s hysteria with the gentle oboe.”
Bruno Kazel spoke cautiously,
“Have you seen the song that was chosen along with yours?”
“Yes. It’s amazing.”
Alexander shook his head.
“Really? I thought it is a bit boring. Isn’t it too generic?”
Bruno Kazel watched Alexander’s expression.
“It could be, but not just anyone can come up just something like that in a matter of a week.”
“A week? Are you saying that he wrote that piano concerto in a week?”
He had thrown the question to see how Alexander evaluated a competitor’s music, but he had come to know something unexpected. A week’s short time also meant that he had not revised the song.
Ultimately, it meant that he had written it while pulling inspiration from any incident or moment. What kind of moment had he experienced that he came up with such a classical music? Had Haydn come out in his dreams to give him that song?
Alexander looked at Bruno Kazel’s surprised face and kept speaking,
“Yes. He’s a freshman who is rumored to be plenty capable of doing that much.”
“Freshman? Well… this is more of a surprise than the music. A freshman writing a song that has the essence of Haydn?”
“You’ll be more surprised when you meet him yourself.”