Volume 4 / Chapter 149
[TN: What does JH do now?]
The first symphony he wrote. And a song that he had been forgetting. Now, it is a song that he wants to erase completely. That music had been spread among conductors without him knowing. How had the score been passed around?
Its premiere had been by the Berlin Philharmonic, even if it is a failed performance where not many people had stayed to listen all the way through.
He was at a loss for what to do. Jun Hyuk felt like a diary he had written in his immature youth had been displayed for all to see. Does he have to say that he is the owner of that diary? It seemed as though it would be better to hide this fact, but he wanted to meet the maestro who evaluated his song so highly and ask his reasoning. He also needed to know where he got the score.
Someone says that it is monstrous and someone says that it is a treasure map. Whether it is a monster or a treasure map, it means that it is that rare. Jun Hyuk picked himself off the ground and left the theater.
“I’m sorry, but only officials are allowed to enter here. What are you here for?”
The backstage entryway was blocked by 2 sturdy guards. Usually, a lot of fans would have been blocking this passage but even the adoring fans had turned away from them after today’s uncomfortable performance.
“I would like to meet Maestro Sarill Petrenko.”
Jun Hyuk spoke carefully, but the 2 guards waved him away.
“Sorry. Fans cannot enter.”
“Then can you relay a message?”
“Sure. What would you like for me to tell them?”
The 2 guards know everything about today’s performance. Of Berlin Philharmonic’s performance, empty seats is unimaginable. They performed modern music that is that strange and they thought that because of this, the fans are full of anger.
Is this young kid trying to say that he is an adoring fan to have them deliver a rotten egg to the maestro?
“Tell him that the person who wrote Inferno would like to meet him.”
The guards blocking the entrance looked at each other. Inferno? They did not know what this meant.
“What? Inferno? What is that?”
“Hm… Then tell them that it’s the person who wrote the last song performed today.”
As soon as he said the person who wrote the last song, their eyes bulged. They did not know the subtitle of a song called Inferno, but they at least knew that the composer of today’s last song was unknown through eavesdropping.
“Is… Is that true?”
“Yes. I’m not an idiot who would lie about something that could be caught right away.”
“Wait… Wait here for a moment, please.”
One of the men ran in and the other person kept looking at Jun Hyuk in wonder.
Jun Hyuk avoided the guard’s uncomfortable stare and scratched the carpet with his foot. His heart was still beating.
He could hear noisy footsteps from inside the passage. Two maestros were running ahead and the orchestra members could be seen behind them.
As soon as the guard pointed to Jun Hyuk, Petrenko went so close to him their faces could touch. He put his hand on Jun Hyuk’s shoulder and asked,
“Is it true?”
“Is it true that you are the composer of Inferno!!”
He could not calm his excitement and raised his voice as if out of anger.
Jun Hyuk responded with a trembling voice, and Petrenko pushed his hair away.
“How… how… how could this be.”
Petrenko was not the only one. The members who followed him could not hide their shock either. To think that this Asian youth wrote that monstrous song!
Everyone stared out blankly in the lobby of the concert hall.
“Maestro. Instead of standing around here, we should go in and talk. There might be other people around.”
One of the members spoke and Petrenko and Jun Hyuk, surrounded by the members, returned backstage.
Someone gave Jun Hyuk a cup of coffee. He wet his dry throat and looked around. Unlike ordinary backstages, there were no bottles of champagne or wine.
It is a definite to have things to celebrate the end of a performance with, but there were only a few cups of coffee. It was that difficult of a performance and they did not even have the state of mind to drink and enjoy themselves.
As soon as Jun Hyuk drank all of his coffee, Maestro Petrenko sat across from Jun Hyuk.
They sat across from each other, but they were encircled by the orchestra performers. The person they had been so curious about… To meet the composer who had caused them so much pain.
Everyone had mountains of questions to ask him, but confirmation came before questioning. They did not take their suspicious gazes off of Jun Hyuk. It is a song that brought all of the pain of the world together to explode all at once.
The conductor and performers had been certain that the composer was a veteran who was on his last leg of life. The person in front of them however, was at most a 20 year old youth.
Petrenko seemed to have calmed down a lot from when he was in the passage. Sir Simon Lettle watched them quietly from a short distance away. This is the first time that the composer and performer are meeting. There are a lot of questions he would like to ask, but it is right that he waits.
“Why don’t you tell us who you are first?”
“Sure. My name is Jun Hyuk Jang. I am a student at CH School of Music.”
“New York’s Clayton-Hoffman?”
They knew that he had participated in the conservatory weekly program of the Salzburg Festival.
“Magic Flute? Did you perform? Or are you just visiting?”
“I conducted the orchestra.”
A low sound came from the performers around them. He has the basics down.
“Can I ask how old you are?”
“I’m 19 years old, a sophomore.”
Petrenko remembered that it has been over 1 year since he had possession of this score. He knew that the score had been making rounds with conductors for 2 years.
“Then when did you write this song? Before enrolling in school?”
“Yes. I remember writing it about 3 years ago.”
Just 16 years old?
There was shouting and whistling from around them. Everything they had expected and had been sure about were wrong. It was difficult for them to accept this nonsensical situation. One of the members was impatient and asked what everyone had on their minds. It is hard to keep their courtesy to Maestro Petrenko.
“This is just the 1st sheet. Is this all of it? What about the rest? Is there more? Is it unfinished?”
“No, it’s complete. There are 4 parts.”
Oh my god.
They started murmuring again. They had even used ear plugs and headphones. They only heard the metronome in the headphones. They had barely enduring 10 minutes by blocking out their fellow musicians. But it is just ¼.
Petrenko looked around, made everyone be quiet, and asked the most important question next. The answer to this would tell them everything. If he really is the composer or not.
“How was our performance today? I would like to hear an honest evaluation from the composer.”
“I learned that the composer is not allowed to say anything once the score has left his hands. You interpreted it as the maestro, and didn’t you perform to that interpretation?”
It is not the response that they were expecting, and it is too out of the textbook. This is why they cannot get what they want. Petrenko spoke again,
“Fine. Then I’ll change the question. If you the composer were a conductor, how would you have performed it?”
The words were changed, but he is basically asking the same question. Jun Hyuk’s assessment of today’s performance. Jun Hyuk realized that Petrenko wants to hear the response no matter what.
Jun Hyuk thought of the performance and spoke after organizing his thoughts for a moment.
“Hm… I thought that it might have been too direct. It seems you focused only on the pain itself. I did not hear the desire of the person experiencing that pain.”
“The desire of the person experiencing the pain? Specifically?”
Petrenko’s eyes grew wide and the members gulped. Sir Simon Lettle’s heart started beating as well.
“I want to hurry up and end this pain. If it won’t end quickly, I’d rather pass out and escape the pain. Those wishes have been left out. I do think that this could happen because you only had the 1st part to go off of. If I had conducted it, I would have expressed the desire to escape the pain rather than the physical feeling of that pain.”
As soon as Jun Hyuk’s response ended, Maestro Petrenko bolted up from his seat.
“He’s right. This is the person! This is without a doubt the composer. I’m sure of it!”