Volume 8 / Chapter 270
The orchestra members recalled the terrible past 2 years. They were more tense everyday than they were for performances as they waited for the conductor inside the studio, and hung onto individual practices without enough time to sleep.
However, there were things that they could not endure as well.
The theater was under construction, so it was understandable that they could not hold performances. However, their conductor created a new song each month. They expected to work on recording the songs even if they did not hold performances, but all he did was to release the scores.
It is Jun Hyuk’s orchestra, but they have never played Jun Hyuk’s song.
Other orchestras performed and recorded Jun Hyuk’s songs as soon as they came out. When this ridiculous condition continued, the orchestra’s dissatisfaction reached its extreme.
When 1 year passed, the orchestra members could no longer endure it and brought the bandmaster forward to tell him all of their complaints.
“Maestro. Are we not qualified to play your songs? Or does our ability fall short compared to other orchestras? How could you do this to us?”
“Of course not. I don’t think that you all fall short in ability.”
Jun Hyuk accepted the orchestra’s complaints as though they were nothing.
“But how can we be the only ones who don’t perform your songs, Maestro? We’re your orchestra.”
“You just said the reason. It’s because you’re all my orchestra.”
The orchestra members kept sighing because of Jun Hyuk’s hard to believe words.
“The songs that I release are ones that I am not satisfied with, but they are songs that the public will like. Also, there are a lot of orchestras that are able to perform them even if you don’t.”
The orchestra members became even angrier. Why is he handing songs that the public will like, over to other orchestras?
There is no issue if they release the album first and then reveal the score.
“I want you to play music that I am satisfied with. And I’m sorry to say this, but you’re a little insufficient to play the songs that I would be satisfied with.”
The bandmaster remembered something when he heard Jun Hyuk bring up music that he would be satisfied with.
“Are you by chance thinking of Inferno?”
“No. I gave up the thought of performing Inferno early on.”
Jun Hyuk laughed and waved his hand. He got locked in his thoughts for a moment and took the baton in his hand.
“Um… Let’s do this. It’d be fastest to explain with music. Alright. Beethoven Symphony No. 5, Fate. You all have the score, right? Get ready.”
The members were surprised when he brought up Beethoven so suddenly, but they were excited just by the fact that they could get away from their strange practices.
They rushed to get the score out of their bags.
“I’m telling you in advance. If you’re all satisfied, we’ll work on recording the album right away.”
The orchestra became excited at the mention of working on an album. They were sick and tired of only practicing to the death. Now was the time to see the results.
And Jun Hyuk’s Beethoven, which they had never seen before.
The orchestra got fully prepared and then focused on the baton.
When the 1st part was ending in a bold introduction, Jun Hyuk put down the baton and only looked at the orchestra.
The orchestra members’ faces were stony. Jun Hyuk saw this and smirked as he spoke,
“You’ll all know very well that the songs that I’ve released until now aren’t more outstanding than this Fate symphony. But what do you think?”
None of the orchestra members spoke up. Jun Hyuk needed to answer his own question.
“It’s not that fun, right? You can’t feel the happiness of performing, the joy of being in concert, right?”
The members kept their silence. That silence also meant that they agree.
Jun Hyuk did not stop smiling, and spoke in a low voice.
“If you play the songs that I’ve released, it will be more boring. Then, do you still want to release an album?”
Jun Hyuk looked at the orchestra members who were still unable to respond, and left the recording booth.
“Damn it. How did we get like this?”
One of the members shouted out in disbelief.
“No wonder. I haven’t been feeling much inspiration when I listen to music.”
“I’ll say. I even thought that Mozart is too light.”
“Right? I was the same. Mozart is a bit frivolous… Beethoven is heavy but feels like it doesn’t fall out of its own category?”
When each person started to speak up, they even started to judge Mozart and Beethoven. But everyone became quiet again when one person spoke up.
“Damn is right. We’ll have to quit thinking about being able to move to another orchestra.”
They could not shake the uneasy feeling that they could no longer play regular classical music.
“Think lightly of today’s performance and just hang on to the warm thoughts. It’s just a gift for one person.”
The members nodded. If they do not forget the thoughts they are sending a respectable man facing death, the performance is a success.
Amelia’s piano sonata ended and there was a short break. The audience enjoyed the refreshments laid out in the lobby and waited for the last order of the day.
When the audience went back to their seats, chairs for the orchestra and a podium were set up on stage.
The program introduction only states Jun Hyuk and his orchestra’s performance. There are no details. Most thought that they would be able to hear Jun Hyuk’s new songs, and were full of anticipation.
When orchestra members appeared on stage with Jun Hyuk following behind them, the audience’s cheering grew louder.
Isaac Stern also lifted his lean hands and clapped with strength.
Jun Hyuk bowed to the audience and held up the microphone in his hand.
“I believe that a man’s life is similar to writing out notes on sheet music. One person’s actions, words, thoughts, and his relationships with others. In that, they have influence and are influenced. All of this becomes notes and are drawn out on sheet music.”
Jun Hyuk looked at Isaac Stern sitting on the 2nd floor.
“When we play the notes that are filled out like that, someone’s life becomes a fascinating melody and someone else’s becomes a noise that is hard to listen to. Like Inferno.”
Laughter came from the audience. Isaac Stern and Dimitri Carras in particular were twice as loud and long as others.
“However, all scores have a similarity. A feeling of regret lingers after the last note is written. It’ll be because people wish they could write out greater notes.”
The audience could tell who Jun Hyuk is talking to, and turned their heads to look at the day’s star, Isaac Stern.
“Lingering regret means it’s unfinished, but music can be evaluated as masterpieces because of that regret. Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 Die Unvollendete is like that.”
Cheering and applause came from the audience. They knew what performance would come next.
Isaac Stern forgot to clap for Jun Hyuk’s surprise show, and could not close his mouth. Dimitri Carras watched this from his side and held Isaac Stern’s thin hand tightly.
When the sound of clapping died down, Jun Hyuk went on speaking.
“For today however, it is not Die Unvollendete. We are taking off the tag ‘unfinished’ so that it’s just Die Vollendete. He is my manager, my friend, and someone who is like a grandfather to me. Like Isaac Stern’s life.”
Jun Hyuk raised his hand to gesture to Isaac Stern, and the audience including the President and Queen Mathilda stood up to clap passionately for Isaac Stern.
Isaac Stern, who was sitting in the box seats, got up from his wheelchair with difficulty and responded to that sound.
“1st part Allegro moderato. 2nd part Andante con moto. 3rd part Scherzo, Allegro. 4th part Allegro vivacissimo.”
When Jun Hyuk stated until the 4th part, the audience members’ jaws dropped. They thought that saying the incomplete is complete is a way to show Isaac Stern respect.
But to think that he really completed Schubert’s song?
The reporters who had not been able to enter the hall with their cameras were full of regret. To think that they cannot record this historical moment.
When Jun Hyuk stood on the podium and turned his back to the audience, the inside of the theater became completely silent.
When the white baton started moving, the cello and contrabass played an introduction of a heavy and solemn atmosphere and the violin rode an uneasy accompaniment for a sad melody from the woodwinds.
There was a short silence after the orchestra’s tutti, and then the cello sang the 2nd theme. These 2 themes tangle with each other to show that music is a tragic deployment as they swell up.
When the 1st part was over, the maestros occupying the VIP seats needed to breathe heavily.
How on earth are they able to perform without a single shaky note? More than half of the members did not look at the score properly, and only looked at the end of the baton.
The ideal orchestra that maestros dream of.