Volume 6 / Chapter 201
When Jun Hyuk and Yoon Kwang Hun went to the theater the next morning, they could only sit in the car and stare at each other because of the reporters that had come swarming to them.
“There’s nothing we can do about it. Don’t you need to foster the skill to get through reporters now? He he.”
Yoon Kwang Hun tapped Jun Hyuk’s shoulder and got out of the car first. The cameras flashed in his face, but they slipped away from him when he pointed to the car.
“Jun, all you have to do is walk slowly into the theater. There are no reporters who will block your path. Don’t frown, and smile. You don’t have to respond to questions. There will be reporters who try to get you to answer with weird questions. Just ignore them and keep walking.”
“Smile and keep walking. Okay.”
When Tara walked out first, the reporters stepped back and opened up the path. Jun Hyuk saw the reporters split like the Red Sea and thought that Tara would be like Moses if she just had a staff in her hand. He automatically broke out into a smile at this thought.
Once he entered the theater, the reporters sighed lightly. Now they need permission from the theater to continue filming. If they do not get approval, they will be kicked out of the theater without being able to cover today’s performance.
When Jun Hyuk collapsed into his seat, Yoon Kwang Hun was laughing in the next seat.
“Seems you did well from your expression.”
“Yes. It wasn’t hard.”
“Be good to Tara. I haven’t seen very many people who are good at her job as she is.”
“Yes. We’re trying to be friends. Don’t worry.”
When the audience was packed without any empty seats, the orchestra and chorus entered.
“In my opinion, the Belgian National Orchestra is pretty great. What do you think? You’ll know since you conducted them.”
“They’re significantly undervalued. It’s just an issue of their repertoire.”
While they chatted, the moderator appeared on stage. When he finished introducing today’s performers, conductor Pierre Boulez, 2 soloists, and the vocalists walked onto the stage.
Pierre Boulez climbed on the podium and raised the baton, smiling without the slightest bit of nervousness.
Unlike yesterday’s performance, the 1st part started with the melody of a slow and sorrowful violin and viola. When the stringed instruments’ bows moved slowly, the audience felt comfortable and buried their bodies deep in their seats.
Maestro Boulez basically declared that his music is different from Jun Hyuk’s extreme. He could not completely erase the intensity of the original, but it was enough to feel a cold winter to raise their coat collars.
But when the 1st part was ending, the orchestra became an obstacle to prevent the biting winds. The piano and violin dug in happily as though they had discovered a place to get away from the wind.
When the piano and violin completely melted in with the 2nd part, Jun Hyuk let out a low groan. It was natural as though they had been performing together from the beginning. Since Jun Hyuk too made a lot of effort in this area during rehearsals, he knew what a difficult moment it was.
Jun Hyuk glanced at Yoon Kwang Hun and saw that he was moving his hand a little and showing that he was lost in the music. When they entered the middle of the 2nd part, Yoon Kwang Hun’s eyes bolted open. Jun Hyuk also straightened his hip off of the back of his chair.
The 2nd part that he expressed with fear and unrest slowly started to change. The orchestra stirred the fierce winds as though freezing everything, but the piano and violin was maintaining a smooth melody as though still basking in a comfortable shelter.
‘Ho – So it’s this kind of performance.’
It is a piano and violin that do not mind the orchestra’s biting winds. A piano with a smooth and light touch, a violin that has a clear and graceful tone and free rubato (not bound to the beat). And a cantabile (as though singing).
Maestro Boulez is strict in dealing with the orchestra, but he gave the 2 soloists wings that let them fly freely.
“That man, he’s impressive…..”
Yoon Kwang Hun mumbled without realizing it. He had already looked at Jun Hyuk’s score carefully, hundreds of times. He could tell that the 2 soloists’ performances were breath-takingly straying from the score.
“Right? His confidence is impressive.”
Jun Hyuk mumbled quietly too.
The performance flowed freely so they could enjoy each sound. When the 3rd part was over, Pierre Boulez closed his eyes for a fairly long time. The audience’s anticipation for a great 4th part grew.
Starting with the 4th part, there is no longer freedom. The performance was faithful to the score and he led everything with strict conducting. The vocal soloists gave them exact sounds, making the audience think that they were cutting each syllable.
If Jun Hyuk had built the song with loud sound, Pierre Boulez made it so that they could not leave the standard frame. The chorus also sang as though it had been measured with a ruler.
That strictness is not very different from Beethoven. The last chorus was so elegant that it inspired reverence and the restrained sound filled the theater.
When Maestro Boulez put the baton down, thunderous applause filled the theater that the chorus had disappeared from.
There were even sounds of ‘Beethoven!’ bursting from different parts of the audience. They do not know exactly why, but the 4th part was a perfect egress as though Beethoven himself had been conducting.
“Wow – He is showing that a choral concerto and choral symphony aren’t very different. It’s killer.”
Jun Hyuk thought that it was a performance where he had to agree with Yoon Kwang Hun.
“Ha ha. Well it looks like I’ve taken a hit.”
“If you look at just the 4th part, today’s performance is much more like Beethoven.”
“Yes. Even though he was making such a fuss when I saw him yesterday.”
“Isn’t it okay though? He’s brought you a step closer to Beethoven.”
“It’s 100 times the burden. He he.”
Tara watched them and stood up.
“Jun, Mr. Yoon. We need to hurry out. If we stay like this, I think we’ll be trapped without being able to move in the lobby.”
The 3 people slipped out among the audience that would not stop looking at the stage and applauding, to go backstage.
“Jun Hyuk. Are you going to meet the Maestro backstage right now?”
“This is bad.”
Yoon Kwang Hun was walking quickly, and frowned.
“I don’t have a single CD of Pierre Boulez’s. I’ve never heard him conduct… I can’t pretend I know him.”
“You heard it today. That should be enough.”
They urged their footsteps along, Yoon Kwang Hun in his happiness in meeting another maestro and Jun Hyuk in his curiosity concerning today’s performance.
Backstage, only the competition staff were moving busily. It seems the heros of the performance were still answering curtain calls and had not been able to leave the stage.
When they heard the applause die down and the the audience bustle to leave the theater, the performers came backstage.
“Jun, what do you think? Was it okay?”
When Pierre Boulez discovered Jun Hyuk, he asked his opinion on the performance first.
“The worrying you showed yesterday really was just a fuss. I’m embarrassed that I babbled like that.”
“Nonsense! The soloists were able to center themselves because of that.”
Pierre Boulez’s looked to the Asian pianist. The female pianist who shone most in today’s performance. It was a piano that Jun Hyuk had admired as well.
He had carefully anticipated Han Ye Ji’s win until yesterday, but he is not so sure now. He heard that she is Chinese, but the piano that came from her delicate physique was so free that he could not know its end.
“I told them to forget Beethoven, but wasn’t that performance Beethoven himself?”
Jun Hyuk looked back at Pierre Boulez.
“Ha ha. Was it? Honestly, I was Beethoven from the beginning. I mean from the moment I saw the score. I thought about changing the vocal part in the 4th part to German, but I couldn’t do that because I was scared of you.”
“Oh. That would have been good too. What do you think about doing the afternoon performance in German?”
“I would if I could… but the soloists might try to kill me. Ha ha.”
The audience must have the aftertaste of the perfect Beethoven performance they heard in the morning. If they sing in German in the afternoon, the audience will be 100 times more impressed.
“What is the afternoon performance like? Is it different?”
“How could it be? I don’t have the ability to play around with music the way I want to like you can. It’s the same as the morning performance. The difference would be the 2 soloists’ influence.”
Yoon Kwang Hun listened to their conversation and poked Jun Hyuk’s side.
“Oh, Maestro. This is…”
“It’s an honor to meet you like this, Maestro Boulez. My name is Yoon.”
Yoon Kwang Hun came forward before Jun Hyuk could finish speaking, and held his hand out.
“Oh, Mr. Yoon. I’ve heard a lot about you. The maestros yesterday said that you’re a sharp critic. They said they could tell how a genius like Jun could come out.”
Yoon Kwang Hun’s smile widened at Pierre Boulez’s praise. But Jun Hyuk was having trouble trying not to laugh. He had not been a sharp critic, but more of a groupie who laid out all types of compliments.
Jun Hyuk took Yoon Kwang Hun by the hand and dragged him away as he was complimenting Pierre Boulez.
“Sir. Let’s go since Maestro Boulez needs to prepare for the afternoon performance.”
“Oh right. What bad manners. Maestro Boulez, once the competition is over, I’d like to eat together and talk about music.”
“Of course, Mr. Yoon. It’s actually what I wanted to ask first. Oh, my friends and I will have a simple get together once the competition is over, and you should come with Jun.”
When he says friends, he must be talking about the maestros. Yoon Kwang Hun was grinning from ear to ear at Pierre Boulez’s answer. Jun Hyuk took Yoon Kwang Hun by the hand when he could not leave, and quickly left backstage.
“What are you going to do? Are you going to watch the afternoon performance?”
“No. He said that it’s the same as the morning performance. I’m going to go check the soloists for tomorrow’s performance.”
Jun Hyuk is concerned about the soloists who need to perform tomorrow. If they saw the morning performance, they will be shaken. That is how great the performance was.
“Alright. Then you go first. I’m going to watch the afternoon performance and then go home.”
“Okay. I’ll send a car for you then.”
“It’s fine. I can take a taxi, so don’t go through the trouble.”
Jun Hyuk left the theater with Tara.
“Tara, bring the soloists for tomorrow’s performance. I’ll wait in the car. I think it’ll get noisy again if I run into the reporters. Let’s take the 2 people home.”
“Home? You’re going to practice at home?”
“Yeah. There’s a piano there. Tell the violinist to bring a violin.”
“Okay. I’ll be right back.”
The 2 people who followed Tara looked a bit excited. They looked full of anticipation because they were receiving a special lesson for tomorrow’s performance.