Volume 5 / Chapter 181
[TN: This is 3 of 8! What does the staff member have to say?]
“What? Age? Do you listen to classical music with age?”
“No. Should I say there are cultural differences by generation? Anyway, it is the difference between whether or not it is familiar.”
“Is there anyone here who isn’t familiar with classical music? It’s your jobs.”
“What I’m trying to talk about isn’t classical. I’m talking about the characteristic of this song. Isaac, think about movies.”
The young staff member used movies as a way to express what he is thinking.
“Yes. Movies are the icons that represent their generations.”
“Take out the introduction and get to the point.”
Isaac Stern lit a cigar and cut him off.
“Let’s think about the movie Batman. Compare Director Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman and Christopher Nolan’s 2008 Dark Knight.
Isaac Stern could not compare them because he had seen Tim Burton’s Batman, but not the Dark Knight. He did not say anything because he thought the staff member would go on about age again.
“I’m not talking about a larger scale or incredible special effects. Think about the number of shorts or cuts. Today’s movie changes screen every 4 minutes on average. They edit the action parts by second units.”
The people in the office could understand what he is trying to say.
“The people of this generation get bored if there aren’t changes that are this fast. If Beethoven was a modern man, his song would have been more flashy than Jun’s. People who are used to the whirlwind of angles used in Spiderman don’t see it as excessive. They are able to enjoy it.”
The world has changed over the past 200 years. There is more rapid change in 10 years in the 21st century than there is in 100 years of the 18th century. The Porsche that James Dean died in in 1955 boasted speeds of 180km/h, but Porsches now can go up to 300km/h.
Speed of change is not something that is learned, but something that becomes acclimatized throughout life.
“Your Beethoven wrote a revolutionary song and it was of a diabolical difficulty. It would have been no different from Jun Hyuk’s song at the time.”
The premiere with the Vienna Philharmonic in 1824 made quite a lot of money but it was not as much as Beethoven thought it would. The 2nd performance saw a deficit and it was criticized.
The format of Jun Hyuk’s song is faithful to the classics, but the style is a classical matched to the contemporary. It is just that it is a classical suitable to the modern person. It is too extreme to grab people who are used to the classical of the past.
“I’m pretty sure even the youth who don’t go near classical music will say that they like this song. There’s not a boring moment.”
“Damn. Am I now too old to find the essence of music?”
Isaac Stern grumbled, but his face was bright without any doubts.
“But Jun wants to submit this to the Queen Elisabeth Competition.”
“What? What absurdity is this? Why a competition so randomly?”
The word competition is as shocking as this song is. He wants to fight Beethoven in an arena of young rookies? The right place for it is the New York Philharmonic’s Lincoln Center Avery Fisher Hall.
“Yeah, but will anything become bigger news than this?”
If the New York Philharmonic performs it in Lincoln Center, it fits the song’s character and scale. But they cannot help but agree with the news that Isaac Stern is talking about. How many people in New York know about the philharmonic’s performances?
With a worldwide competition however, Europe and the countries of the finalists receive reports on its progression. A competition is much more advantageous in becoming news.
“That’s true, but we need to think about the problems after.”
The staff member looked at President Stern and hesitated, looking for a way to explain.
“Are you thinking that the results might not be good?”
“Isn’t it a problem that can be predicted?”
He has no question about Jun Hyuk’s work, but he worries about the judges. Not their ethics, but their actual ages. Even the staff of Stern Corporation is out of breath with a music that they are not familiar with, but judges of the old competition could be worse.
Isaac Stern smiled while listening to the staff’s concerns. He felt good that none of them had read his thoughts.
“What I think is – and I’m 100% sure – he won’t be able to win. The reason is that like you all said, the judges are too old to enjoy the music. Like me.”
When one of the staff members was about to speak up, Isaac Stern put up his hand to stop him.
“Isn’t the case where he doesn’t win where we can shine our light best?”
The staff members’ eyes changed. They realized President Stern’s intention.
“I see. If we’re thinking only of becoming a hot topic, not winning would be better.”
“A misfortunate 2nd place tends to receive more spotlight.”
The staff started calculating the advantages of not winning.
“Right? On top of that, we can mobilize powerful reinforcements.”
If President Stern shows Jun Hyuk’s score to maestros all around the world and gets their thoughts on it, the spotlight will be even stronger.
Isaac Stern is able to have such confidence because he is so sure of Jun Hyuk’s song.
However, Isaac Stern needed to change his thoughts. He realized what Jun Hyuk wants while talking to him over the phone. He wants to conduct in Brussels, Belgium. And Isaac Stern had agreed to do whatever Jun Hyuk wants to do.
To keep that promise, he prepared to spread the image of Jun Hyuk conducting and his work as widely as possible.
“I’ll be going now. I rested enough.”
“Sure. This was a good enough vacation, right?”
Jun Hyuk talked about going back to America over dinner. Yoon Kwang Hun’s face showed disappointment for a very short moment, but it quickly calmed down. Jun Hyuk’s visit had been like a surprise present. It would be harder to see him from now on.
There was something that he did regret, so he spoke up,
“That’s that. You don’t have any thoughts on performing with Fine Philharmonic?”
“No. I do want to hear Han Ye Ji’s piano again, but I don’t know about doing an official concert. I’d rather see her at her own recital.”
“Alright. There’s nothing to do if you don’t feel like it. Now, I’ll have to go see you when you perform. When do you think your first performance will be? Belgium?”
“I’m not sure. Do you think I’ll be able to win?”
“I thought President Stern said he would make you the winner? I’m going to go ahead and reserve my flight and hotel to fit the finals period. Oh right. Send me 5 admission tickets to the competition.”
“What? 5 of them? Why?”
“How can I go alone? I need to take everyone. It’ll be boring if I go alone. There’s nothing to do in Europe once the sun sets.”
“He he. Alright. I’ll prepare them right away if I win.”
Jun Hyuk finished up his last meal at Yoon Kwang Hun’s cafe.
“How about the apartment in New York? Are you going to move to the apartment that President Stern prepared for you?”
“Yes. I was told that they already moved all of my stuff and took care of the apartment I was renting. It really is comfortable that I don’t have to mind anything else.”
Since signing on with a management agency, moving was the first realistic convenience that he experienced. As Yoon Kwang Hun brought up the New York apartment, he thought of someone.
“But hasn’t it been a long time since you’ve seen Amelia? Are you two okay?”
“She’s going to come in the summer. She’s performing and recording with the BBC orchestra right now. Why? You think we might break up?”
“You don’t know the saying, out of sight out of mind? It’s an immutable truth.”
“We FaceTime every day. It’s okay.”
“I don’t mean seeing physically when I mean out of sight. It’s because you lose the opportunity to make an effort itself.”
Jun Hyuk did not know what Yoon Kwang Hun meant by effort.
“Affection is bound to die down as time passes. If you don’t make the effort to fire the affection up again, it’ll eventually die. I mean that if you stay apart this long, it’s impossible even if you make the effort.”
Jun Hyuk stared at Yoon Kwang Hun and spoke cautiously,
“Is that so? I don’t think that’s something that someone who has lived alone forever should be saying. Ha ha.”