Volume 4 / Chapter 152
Even if someone is lauded as a maestro, he is just another performer who plays an instrument called an orchestra. He cannot force a composer to release a work that he does not want to. Marco Giavelli could say it because he is speaking from a fan of music who stepped down from active duty.
While everyone was clucking at their regret, Petrenko stepped in.
“Then I’m sure we’ll be able to hear your songs that are not immature?”
“Then? You’re just going to keep letting us drink? You have to donate at least $10,000 to have dinner with the maestros here. You have to let us listen to at least one of your songs to make the ends meet.”
All of the greats in the banquet hall burst out in laughter and urged Jun Hyuk as if they had all been waiting.
“What are you doing? Isn’t the piano waiting for you? If you don’t want to play the piano, the orchestra members here can lend you whatever instrument you need. Or do you want to conduct?”
Jun Hyuk went to the grand piano in the banquet hall.
“It’s not immature, but I’m worried it won’t be worth $10,000 at the least.”
“If you think it’s not enough, you can play 16 in a row. Ha ha.”
When Petrenko was done laughing, Jun Hyuk started playing the piano.
A bass ridden with anxiety and fear started and became a grandiose piano. The bass outlined the motif and the treble only played the accompaniment role. The motif moved from the bass to treble and after over 20 minutes, it ended with a high octave.
The maestros in the banquet hall looked on in appreciation at first but as time passed, they looked at each other and nodded. They had discovered the hidden meaning in Jun Hyuk’s song and had experience a short burst of admiration as well.
When he was done playing, there was not the explosive cheering of a public audience, but the banquet hall rang with genuine clapping.
“So this kind of configuration is also possible.”
“Yes. I was fooled at first as well. He’s played 8 songs of 3 minutes in a row. Most people would think that it is one song that lasts over 20 minutes.”
“Exactly. It’s okay to say that the entire performance is one song… and it’s okay to separate them. I can’t tell if the configuration is good or if he’s smart… Geez.”
For over 20 minutes, they had not once felt that the performance was cut off. It is a song where they cannot distinguish whether it is one song that was split into eight, or eight songs that were combined into one.
“The more interesting thing is that you can play this on other instruments without arranging it. It’s amazing that you can play this music from a piano on a string or wind instrument as well.”
“Yes. While he was playing just now, the orchestra members’ fingers started moving automatically. They had an impulse to play it on their own instruments. Ha ha.”
“I had not expected that a young composer who created a contemporary song like Inferno would show us a such a romantic song with the essence of Chopin.”
Jun Hyuk stood up from the piano and lightly bowed his head.
“Jun, what is the title of this song? Is it just a piano ditty?”
Petrenko, who had been known as a great pianist in his youth, showed a lot of interest.
“Well… it’s called ‘Driver’s License’…..”
“What? Driver’s License? Ha ha. That’s plausible.”
“Yes. I got my driver’s license a little while ago. Honestly, the test was so hard. I trembled during the driving test even though it’s really easy once you get used to it…..”
“So you captured that experience in music? In beautiful music that is reminiscent of Chopin? That’s innovative.”
Everyone liked that he could bring out music from the minor happenings of daily life. The composers who write songs as though fighting a war have short life spans as a musicians. They are forcing the music.
A composer with a style like this can create impressive work, but it is difficult to expect a second piece. On the other hand, the ability to create music from such minor events is a talent that any musician envies. What is more is that if they are able to write a song like ‘Driver’s License’ that even has a beautiful aspect to it, then a musician cannot ask for more.
“Good. Then let’s take a look at Jun as a pianist this time. After all, isn’t he the pianist who trained the winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition?”
Sir Simon Lettle said it as a joke, but people clapped and yelled for an encore.
When Jun Hyuk looked uncomfortable, Patrick Quinn of the Vienna Philharmonic yelled out,
“Look here. Forget about modesty. Modesty and courtesy are not fitting for someone who does music. You need to brag about your talent as much as you want to. That’s what a musician does. Ha ha.”
When Jun Hyuk heard Patrick Quinn’s unexpected words, he burst out laughing.
“Ha ha. I understand. Then I will show off a bit.”
Jun Hyuk sat in front of the piano again, shook his hands a few times, and blinked as though thinking about what to perform next. Then he put his hands on the keys.
The first melody that flowed from the piano is Intermezzo, the most famous of Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni of the Italian opera. It brought out an atmosphere that made it feel as if they were watching a movie about the Italian mafia. Even until then, there was an art of seduction that did not reveal any special aspects with an exact touch and seamlessly flowing octave.
The continuing melody however, was surprisingly the opera’s overture. Everyone doubted it but as soon as the overture ended, it became ‘O Lola ch’hai di larri la cammisa’. It looked as if he were going to play an entire opera that runs for over 70 minutes.
It is common for pianists to arrange and play the orchestra part of a piano concerto. They even arrange and play one or two great arias. But an entire opera?
Of course this song is a short 70 minutes, a part of the opera, but no one has ever tried to arrange the entire song for the piano to play it.
When the approximately 50 minute performance omitting the opera’s dialogue was over, there was only the sound of breathing in the banquet hall.
They are more surprised by something other than the fact that he played a whole opera song. For about 50 minutes, they had sensed the touch of great pianists alive and dead, and the finale had definitely been Jun Hyuk’s own touch.
Jun Hyuk took his hands off of the piano and looked happy. For a song that he had just arranged, it had flowed pretty well and he thought that the performance had not been bad. Even though he had put himself into the finale, it had not felt uncomfortable.
All of the people filling the banquet hall were having the same thought. A sanctity of pianists had appeared!
They were not thinking this because of the reappearance of the greats in his playing. He had connected various pianists together with such a natural flow that only piano maniacs would be able to notice the changes.
The opera ends the finale with the great voice of the tenor ringing throughout the theater. The highlight of Jun Hyuk’s performance was that he played the piano as if the bass and treble are singing the tenor as a duet.
“Wouldn’t this be enough for a donation?”
Jun Hyuk’s joking voice was the only sound in the silent banquet hall.
The maestros and performers in the banquet hall got out of their seats at the same time, clapping and cheering. This is not applause for the performance. This is for Jun Hyuk as a musician.