Volume 6 / Chapter 197
“Did you memorize the whole score?”
“Of course. Thanks, friend. I think I know why you told me to memorize the whole score.”
“Then fine. You’re not having any issues either, are you Ms. Han?”
“No. I barely memorized the whole thing.”
Danny and Han Ye Ji arrived at BOZAR theater after being locked up in the Chapelle Conservatory for 8 days to prepare for the rehearsal with everyone excluding the chorus.
Their eyes were bloodshot and they looked thinner. But their expressions were bright. After completely memorizing the scores, performing became much easier. They do not know exactly why, but as soon as the score was imprinted in their minds, they did have the slightest hesitation.
On the other hand, the expressions of Jun Hyuk, the orchestra members, and the vocal soloists were not bright. They have a strong feeling that the rehearsal with the performers to go up on the first final stage did not go well.
Danny had a lot of questions he wanted to ask as he watched Jun Hyuk’s face, but he did not speak up. The first piece of news he heard as soon as he came out of Chapelle Conservatory was Jun Hyuk’s statement on Beethoven. He had intended to have a big laugh about it when they saw each other, but he could not joke around in Jun Hyuk’s current state.
They are not friends on stage. Jun Hyuk is the maestro who dominates the stage. The feelings of over 100 people can change with a single word from Jun Hyuk.
Jun Hyuk was at the podium with the piano on his right and the violin on his left. The vocalists need to wait in the back until the orchestra is done up to the 3rd part.
“Alright. We’ll start with the 2nd part.”
Jun Hyuk turned his head to both sides, met eyes with both people, and moved the baton with strength.
Beethoven’s choral symphony is in a A-B-A 3 part format, but Jun Hyuk’s concerto is continued through A-B-C-D and they head to the 3rd part without hesitation. When the strings were about to be expanded, the speedy piano began.
When the pianist’s interjection was about to burst through, the violin created a harmony with its prominent fingering to let everyone know that the concerto had begun.
The orchestra created a bass with a molto vivace tempo while the violin and piano deployed counteracting reasoning. The vocalists were seated without roles and were in such excited states that their hearts beat as they listened to the fast tempo and continuing melody.
Since they are young enough to participate in a competition, they are not uncomfortable with the fast changes. The difference between reading the score and hearing the performance in person is the difference because the earth and heaven.
How many times had their blood boiled just from listening to some music? Their first thought was that Jun Hyuk’s arrogant statement had not been all wrong. They do not know whether his work is comparable to that of Beethoven or does not come close to matching up, but it is comparable to the innovative and rampant feeling they felt when they first heard Beethoven.
Beethoven’s Fate Symphony was also rejected at the time because it was considered too extreme.
The first audience for Jun Hyuk’s choral concerto is going to have no choice but to agree that at the least, 20 year old Jun Hyuk is ahead of 20 year old Beethoven.
Jun Hyuk could not leave Palais de BOZAR until the competition was over. They could not even count how many reporters there were hiding out near the theater for subsequent coverage.
While staying in the temporary residence created for him from the theater, he was constantly visited by the people he would need to stand on stage with. They came with their scores to ask about Jun Hyuk’s interpretation and for advice on where they were lacking.
The finalists who would perform with Jun Hyuk were surprised by the novel image of him as a conductor over just 2 days. Unlike conductors they had experienced until now who had explained their interpretations, he had used music to help them understand at once.
If they explained their thoughts to Jun Hyuk for a while, he would respond with music. He played the piano without speaking, and the answer was inside that piano melody.
Tara on the other hand, was frustrated as she watched Jun Hyuk in this harsh environment.
“Jun. It’s okay to go to the hotel. If we just use a few bodyguards, we can block the reporters. You don’t have to stay here like this.”
“It’s okay. I feel more at ease here. I’m used to places like this.”
Tara could not break Jun Hyuk’s stubbornness, so she moved her own stay to a hotel near the theater. Every time the reporters saw Tara go back and forth between the theater and hotel, they shoved their microphones at her. But she only had one answer,
“Watch the performance for yourselves. Jun only said what he was thinking, and it isn’t too late to make a judgment on that statement after listening to his music.”
There would not have been so much noise if Jun Hyuk had been a complete rookie facing his first stage. No one would have paid attention to the situation, disregarding it as nonsense from an idiot who does not know anything.
However, he is the composer of hot topic Inferno and someone who received rave reviews from maestros. And because of President Stern, who moved quickly, many maestros were already able to receive Jun Hyuk’s score. That assessment was giving him a great reputation among musicians as Inferno had. With this kind of situation, it seems like the chaos would continue for the time being.
Famous critics in Europe boarded planes and trains, and gathered to Brussels. They swept up all of the tickets to the first day of the competition as though showing that they are prepared to make a judgment on Jun Hyuk’s statement.
Maestros who saw the score for the choral concerto also went to Brussels, full of expectations. They intended to watch Jun Hyuk’s premiere and immediately go back to start preparing to put the song up on their own stages.
Contrary to the competition committee’s concerns, tickets for the day Jun Hyuk would be conducting were sold out and the prices of scalped tickets surged. Even those were hard to come by.
More attention was coming to the Queen Elisabeth than there was to the Chopin Competition finals.
“What is this place? Are you spending your days reminiscing about past days?”
“Isn’t it better than the little room I stayed in cafe in the beginning?”
Yoon Kwang Hun arrived in Brussels and went to BOZAR theater, where Jun Hyuk was staying, first. Of course, it is incomparably more spacious and pleasant than the small room in the cafe had been.
“Did you come alone? Didn’t I send you 5 tickets? Who did you come with? Lawyer Baek? Teacher Jo Hyung Joong or Teacher Yoon Jung Su?”
“Oh, no. I came with my friends, but they went to look around Brussels since they’re classical music manias.”
Friends? Did he have friends who were willing to come this far? Jun Hyuk had almost never seen Yoon Kwang Hun meet up with his friends in all the time that they had been living together. There had only been the 3 or 4 college friends who had stopped by for the first time in a long time when it had been extremely noisy because of his participation in the audition program. Those people had not come again after that one time, and no one had come after.
But he cannot nitpick and ask what friends, and he does not want to go so far to find out.
Jun Hyuk’s expression changed subtly, but Yoon Kwang Hun paid no mind.
“Anyway, are you confident?”
“Huh? In what?”
“Don’t you have to show that you have the possibility to catch up to Beethoven in orchestral songs tomorrow at the least? There are going to be a lot of people who are just waiting to rip you apart… I’m asking if you have the confidence to quiet them completely.”
“Won’t the people who resent me and are out to bring me down, do it regardless of what the performance is like?”
“It’s a success if you can change people like that. Music can’t lie.”
Jun Hyuk thought for a moment and spoke,
“Um. Tomorrow morning’s performance is going to be a little flat. The afternoon one will be pretty fun. I want to be judged on the afternoon one.”
“The 2 people competing in the morning aren’t that great. I tried to conduct the way I want and have them follow, but they seemed to find it difficult. I thought it’d be a disadvantage if we perform like that, so I matched it to them a bit.”
“Are you matching it to them because it’s a competition?”
“Whew. I couldn’t get myself to be harsh with them to their faces. Won’t it remain as a trauma forever if there’s a situation where they’re performing and can’t continue?”
Jun Hyuk could not forget the images of the female Japanese violinist, who cried while holding her violin, and the Australian pianist, who lost track of the beat and was devastated.
“Then the afternoon performance?”
“Han Ye Ji and Danny are performing, and it’s okay. They can follow along with ease, so I can give the performance that I want to give. And I’m sure Danny is going to win. He really improved a lot while touring.”
“Hm. Then should I skip the morning performance and go straight to the afternoon one? I really don’t like flat performances.”
“You’re too much. There’s going to be a different taste to the morning performance. Aren’t you putting too little faith in me?”
“Fine. But if it’s not worth listening to, I’ll be the first to pelt you with harsh criticism. He he.”
Yoon Kwang Hun told Jun Hyuk to work hard, pat him on the back, and went back to his hotel. He has work to do as well.