Monday, February 28, 2005

Classical Music, Here I Come!

Last Saturday I went to a concert put up by the Bombay Philharmonic Orchestra. They had a guest music conductor, Christopher O’Reilly and pianist Danny Driver. I love Western classical music, though I honestly cannot make out the difference between Beethoven, Mozart or Chopin! I hope to change that someday.
Anyway, I had to convince my brother, D, to go along, and surprisingly he agreed at once! So off we went to the Tata theatre to enjoy an evening of Western classical music. We were actually late, courtesy me. And D was so mad! He was going on and on lecturing me on how I should have started getting dressed earlier when I knew that I always take so long to get ready. Grans of course had to chime in with her two cents and urge me on to get dressed quicker! It was about 6 o’clock, and we were still at home, when the concert started at 6:30 pm. It takes about 45 minutes to get to the auditorium from our home. Anyway I was really flying when D announced that it was 6:15 already. When I was ready, I turned around and saw that it was actually 6:00 pm, so I went back to the mirror to check my eyeliner, when D walked in and saw me glued to the mirror once more, announced, “that is it! I’m not going! I don’t want to grope my way in the dark to our seats!” Hearing this I quickly turned around and both of us raced off to get a cab.
We arrived exactly at 6:30 pm. And D was still grumbling about being late. When we entered the foyer, the attendant there actually commanded us to run up the stairs! We ran up and were shown to our seats. The auditorium was full, and I was a bit embarrassed to step over people trying to get to our seats.
The orchestra had already arranged itself on the stage and was warming up for the performance. A kindly old Parsi lady offered me the program, which we didn’t get as we were late. The piece selected was from Mendelssohn’s works.
Then O’Reilly walked onto the stage amidst thunderous applause, he introduced the piece and gave a short history of how Mendelssohn created it.
And then the orchestra began its enthralling performance. I was surprised to recognize the first two pieces, which I’d actually heard playing in the background of a Warner Bros. cartoon that I had seen long, long back! I’ve come to realize that most of the cartoons have Western classical music as their background score, especially the “Swan Lake” or something, by Chekovsky (am not sure of the spelling or even if it is by Chekovsky!).
The fourth set also sounded very familiar, and then I realized that it was used in the Tata Indigo advertisement!
I sat spell bound throughout the entire evening, just letting the wonderful sounds of the violins, cellos, trumpets and an assortment of other instruments, wash over all my senses. In fact after a while, I suddenly realized that I had a smile plastered to my face all the while! I was in heaven for sure!
O’Reilly was a true showman! He was highly dramatic and very charismatic too. It didn’t hurt that he was good-looking too! Hehe! J He had dark brown hair and eyes and a ready smile.
After the intermission Danny Driver joined the orchestra. He was dressed in a white tuxedo, as compared to the rest of the orchestra members who were dressed in black. He was balding, and wasn’t as affable as O’Reilly, he looked a bit reserved. He played marvelously! His fingers just flew over the piano keys. He turned out to be quite dramatic himself.
A funny incident occurred during the first half. In a Western classical music performance, there is a certain protocol to be followed while applauding. One should never applaud when there are pauses between pieces. But not many people in the audience knew about it, and so many of them applauded each time there was a pause. After this happened a few times, an irate lady from behind, who sounded very Parsiish, snapped, “Don’t you people know when to clap?!” I just felt like chuckling when she said it! She sounded so annoyed!
But you really can’t blame some of the people for not knowing this rule; they just wanted to show their appreciation for a good performance. I myself hadn’t known about this rule. My aunt, who had given me the tickets to this show, had told me about this; or else even I would have been clapping along with all the ignoramuses, including D! But, even though I knew about this rule, it was not easy making out when exactly to applaud and when not to. So I clapped only when the Parsi lady beside would clap, and I told D to take my lead.
Apart from this little hiccup, the rest of the concert went on smoothly.
And I was just over the moon to be attending a Western classical music concert at last! I’ve always dreamed of living this way, working hard on weekdays, and going to watch plays and concerts on weekends. Ah! This is the life!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

western classical music. so u like it. that's good. not many people like it.

i think its very relaxing and gets u all energised and moving.

a study conducted on the effect music has on school children showed that western classical music has a very +ve effect...their performance improved more then 50% .aint that awesome!!

Anonymous said...

(s)that's me :)

Phoenix Rises said...

Hey S!! Thanks for your educational comments!! :) As for when my next entry's gonne be posted, that will be only after my exams get over. Am glad that you are actually reading my stuff!! :)