Volume 6 / Chapter 199
The people who knew that the conducting would be different did not lose interest, but most of the general audience were just going to enjoy the competition. They were full of anticipation for how the new pianist and violinist would perform, and watched the 2 soloists.
When Danny and Han Ye Ji greeted the audience and went back to their seats, Jun Hyuk picked up the baton. At that moment, the air in the theater changed.
A different atmosphere than that from the morning came from the performers. Their faces showed resolution as though they are players who have appeared for the World Cup finals.
The first verse started with a signal from Jun Hyuk’s baton, and the expressions of the maestros in the royal seats changed.
It is fast!
The violin and violas move so vigorously that they cannot see the movement of their bows. Even the general audience could tell that there is an incomparable difference in speed to that of the morning performance.
If the morning performance’s 1st part had been a storm, it now went through the score faster than a tornado. The judges’ hearts beat as they listened to the music. It is so fast that they could not understand how the 2 soloists would follow along.
Notes that fill up the piano and violin completely. Performing those notes properly is not a matter of skill. It is a matter of the basic workmanship to be able to get on this movement that is faster than a tornado within moments.
Extensive practice would be necessary even for professional soloists who are already famous, but the soloists who entered the finals only had 10 days.
It is excessive to ask them to handle such a speed perfectly in such a short period of time.
When the 2nd part began however, they realized that their worries were groundless. Danny and Han Ye Ji joined the tornado perfectly, as though they had been performing together since the 1st part.
When the 2 instruments’ melodies flowed out with speed, the judges could not help but express their admiration. It is admiration for the 2 performers who adapted so well, but it is also because they realized that the morning conducting had been matched to the soloists.
The judges realized that the young conductor with a strong charisma on the podium now, can be called a maestro without exaggeration.
The audience was dizzy from the incredible change between the thematic progression of the 2nd and 3rd parts, and their hearts trembled at the timpani’s magnificent sound. They subconsciously put strength in their hands and clutched onto their chairs as though trying not to fall off.
The piano and violin are very different from their counterparts in the morning performance. The 2 people seemed to have forgotten that it is a stage to determine a winner. The morning performance showed the orchestra and 2 instruments going back and forth, but the soloists and orchestra on stage now have become one to go at the audience.
They had completely hidden themselves and left their workmanship, talent, and efforts to the orchestra.
The 4th part began without time to relish in how the 3rd part went by, and the soprano’s scream-like timbre sounded like a trumpet call from a battlefield.
Laura Goldberg’s strong technique and scale in particular showed that a large volume does not work as an excuse against ‘the orchestra’s volume is too big’. She proved here that one great singer can overwhelm the sound made by over 100 instruments.
The maestros could understand that it is a completely different performance. If the morning conducting had been like an Italian opera full of tragic beauty, it is now a struggle to win.
Jun Hyuk conducting the orchestra, piano, violin, vocal soloist, and chorus while controlling them to maintain tremendous change and speed, looked like the commander of a battlefield.
The maestros and critics watching this might still be in question and argument over whether he is the next Beethoven, but they cannot deny that another great has been born.
When Jun Hyuk put the baton down and turned to the audience, the audience was still silent.
They finally realized that the performance was over once they saw Danny run to Jun Hyuk and Han Ye Ji to embrace them with joy.
The audience’s roar filled the theater as though they were in a cave, and every single person gave them a standing ovation.
The vocalists and main performers left the stage after bowing to the audience, but the applause did not stop. Reporters tried to keep track of the number of curtain calls there were, but gave up after the 10th.
The audience finally left the theater after seeing the chorus and orchestra leave the stage empty.
Impatient critics chatted in the theater lobby, and there were reporters everywhere trying to record this with their microphones.
“The morning performance started out as Beethoven’s Fate symphony, went through a power symphony, and then culminated as Verdi’s opera… Um. It was a conducting that showed a bit of a confusing configuration.”
Critics chatted until they were red in the face.
“The performance he completed just now on the other hand… It doesn’t need many words, does it? Maestro Jun acted on what he said with his music. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the performance was like Beethoven. What he showed us is innovative and an aggressive conducting, and can be compared to Beethoven.”
There were critics who responded to reporters’ questions in calm voices, too.
“The hero of the 2nd performance? The violin that was able to express the fine and delicate emotions? The pianist who was lacking a bit in musical skill, but able to create an outstanding ensemble with the orchestra? The soprano who easily brought out a forte in difficult circumstances with brass instruments hitting?”
The critic said the next words after looking around at the reporters waiting for his next statement.
“The conductor who controlled all of this is not the hero of this performance either. The hero is the work itself. A great piece that is able to contain all of these outstanding elements. The choral concerto is the hero.”
The critic who laid out a series of high praises, finished the interview with the last question.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to wait until Maestro Pierre Boulez’s performance tomorrow. How will he express this amazing piece…? I don’t think I’ll be able to fall asleep out of curiosity.”
Yoon Kwang Hun smiled as he listened to all of the praising about Jun Hyuk. Jun Hyuk had brought all of the people who were out to crush him, onto his side. Thinking about Jun Hyuk, who proved himself with just 2 performances, he felt proud.
Yoon Kwang Hun left the theater with his ‘friends’.
“Sister, what do you think of Jun Hyuk?”
Yoon Kwang Hun was sitting in a cafe with a cup of coffee in front of him, smiling gently. He was happiest that the 4 people from Korea had witnessed the audience of over 2,000 people cheering enthusiastically for Jun Hyuk.
“It’s not what we were thinking. He still seemed like a child from what we saw on TV, but he has become an adult.”
The sister who had been streaming tears throughout the performance was drinking a milk tea as she calmed her excitement down.
“Jun Hyuk with the baton was… really impressive.”
The young sister who had fed Jun Hyuk by a bottle had become middle-aged.
“Mr. Yoon. I don’t know classical music, but did Jun Hyuk do well today?”
The middle-aged couple looked older under the sunlight and did not know music, but were still thinking about the audience’s cheering.
“You may not know classical music, but you’ve listened to Mozart or Beethoven, right?”
“Jun Hyuk’s name will be among people like that soon. It means that he is the most superior person in the world of classical.”
“Goodness… Jun Hyuk is…..”
The couple could not close their mouths at Yoon Kwang Hun’s words. Even when Jun Hyuk came out on TV, they had only hoped for him to succeed as a singer in Korea. They had thought that they would be able to wash themselves of the guilt as Jun Hyuk became more successful and rooted for him enthusiastically, but he did not become a singer.
When they saw on TV that he would be going to study abroad in America, they were just grateful. But now, after just a few years, he has become a world-renowned musician. Tears formed in their eyes again.
“Mr. Yoon. Then what is going to happen to Jun Hyuk now?”
The middle-aged sister who wiped the tears from the white-haired director sister’s face had trembling hands, deeply moved as well.
“Once the competition is over, he will probably perform with the New York Philharmonic. Jun Hyuk’s management agency is one of the top companies in the world. Even after the New York performance, he will get to continue conducting the top orchestras all over the world.”
The 4 people could understand Jun Hyuk’s current situation when told that he would be conducting all over the world, rather than with a long explanation.
“I don’t know if I can express how thankful I am, Mr. Yoon. I really am grateful.”
The director sister bowed her head to Yoon Kwang Hun multiple times.
“Oh no, it’s nothing. Jun Hyuk got all the way here on his own. I didn’t do anything.”
Yoon Kwang Hun waved his hand and sat her down.
When Jun Hyuk came out on TV on the audition program, 2 sisters had quietly come to the cafe. They were the 2 sisters who had raised Jun Hyuk at the orphanage.
Yoon Kwang Hun tried to have them meet with Jun Hyuk, but they politely refused and went back down to Daegu. They were fine with checking that he was living well after meeting a good person, and did not think that they needed to bring up memories of his past.
However, Yoon Kwang Hun thought that the 4 people might be able to wash away the slight guilt they still felt as they watched Jun Hyuk grow up well, and flew to Brussels with them.
“Thank you so much for creating this kind of situation.”
The 4 people bowed their heads to Yoon Kwang Hun.
“Are you really going to just go back? You came all the way here.”
Yoon Kwang Hun looked at the 4 people and spoke carefully, but they only laughed.
“Mr. Yoon. We weren’t able to act as parents for even a day, but we have been able ot release some of the guilt thanks to you. Thank you.”
Yoon Kwang Hun’s 4 ‘friends’ got on a plane that night to go back to Korea. Their faces had become considerably brighter since letting go of baggage that had been heavy on their hearts for over 15 years.