Rachmaninov Symphony No.2

Jonathan, Yuen Yang, Juliana, Shin Yee, me, Peter and James.

I am back, from a marvellous, stupendous, awesome concert.

I arrived at KLCC around 6:30 and went to Kinokuniya, our meeting place. I browsed through the science section while waiting for them and ended up wandering in the music section, and bought "Rachmaninoff: Complete Preludes for Piano (Op. 3, 23, 32; Schirmer Library- Centennial Edition)". Ahh, new pieces. I think I gonna wait until 40 years old to be able to play the pieces.

Then I met with Peter, Juliana, Shin Yee, James and Yuen Yang (new friend from HELP) and we had our dinner together. Peter actually cut his hair short and he looked a little nerdy today haha. Our main topic today was undoubtedly the UFO. I didn't know that there are so many anti-UFO-ists haha! We were talking everything about him and how disgusting he behaved. One of my friend told us that he had a webcam conversation with UFO and UFO let him see a message of a girl (who is present there) writing what "I accept you to be your girlfriend" or something similar. The girl immediately shouted in protest and of course, we all know that the message must have been typed out by UFO himself. It is just so.... ewww. Who on Earth would do such thing (he's UFO, not Earthly organisms)? Damn. When we were walking towards the lift, Shin Yee and Juliana spotted a nail painting shop (which is very, very pinkish- UFO's favourite colour) and immediately they say "UFO should go there! because he likes to paints his nails!" Haha. (he really likes to paint his nails in a girlish way)

Then we proceeded to the concert hall and waited for Jonathan who was stuck in traffic jam. We were worried that he might not be able to make it in time. Around 8:15 we went into the majestic hall. Peter went to the toilet so me and Juliana went to take our seats first. Our row was "T" row and there was this very polite Caucasian sitting at the outermost seat. When he saw us wanting to move in he immediately stood up and let us in. Moments later, Peter came but from the other side of the same row (our seats were together). He said that the Caucasian on his side was so contemptible. That guy didn't even intend to let Peter walk in, what a contrary to the other white guy. Haha.

Looking at the hall, the same majestic organ overwhelmed me. So much I wish that I could touch that sacred instrument. Me, Juliana and Peter sat together while the others sat elsewhere. James' girl (not Bond girl) sat at Circle (or Upper Circle? I'm not sure) so he can't even have a glance of her in the hall. Ah too bad James.

We waited for some time, still worried if Jonathan couldn't make it. But at the very last moment, he appeared. He was probably the last one to enter the hall.

The concert repertoire for today was:
1. Carnival Overture (Op.92) by Dvorak (9 minutes),
2. Liszt Piano Concerto No.1 in E flat (S.124) (19 minutes), and
3. Rachmaninov Symphony No.2 in E minor (Op.27) (52 minutes).

The conductor came in and started the first piece quickly. Suddenly I feel that I'm in a carnival. The atmosphere went into such joyous state that our senses were happily manipulated by the music. It was really good.

Then it was the stupendous piano concerto. I was pretty much flabbergasted by the piano opening. The chords and all, wow! Juliana said that Sergio Tiempo (the pianist) is cute haha. She said that if Jonathan leave his hair long enough his hair would be like the pianist, long and soft. Ok back to the performance. The delicacy of the notes from a Steinway concert grand.. how sacred it is, especially when the pianist showed his virtuosity and the composer's beautifully written melodies, which are so invigorating. My mind flowed with the music. For some times I wanted to close my eyes and enjoy the music but I just couldn't sacrifice my vision for more audio pleasure. The pianist's hands were agitating so quickly and uniformly, the scales and all.. ahh, I just can't forget the cadenza of the fourth movement! The main theme keeps on repeating in my mind, every time more energetic and unforgettable! It was just marvellous, terrific! We clapped our hands red (Peter and I planned to initiate a standing ovation but we don't have the guts to do it haha). After several walk-in and outs the pianist played an encore piece which sounded like a Chopin piece. None of us know the piece but it was really emotional, tranquil, and beautiful.

Then there's a 20 minutes break before the main attraction of the day- Rachmaninov's Symphony No.2. We walked out together, discussing how impressive and stunning the concerto was. We saw Hui Xin and her parents (she didn't join us, family bonding haha). Then when I was scanning around, I saw a very sweet girl who appears to be Jia Xin. I was much shocked! I didn't think that she would attend such a concert because I never knew that she's interested in classical music. When she walked past me I called her name. Perhaps she didn't hear my call, she just walked away and I thought that I recognized the wrong person. But when she went past me for the second time she saw me and, "eh? Lee Young!" I was like "eh? Jia Xin! You're also here!" haha. I can't remember exactly how I reacted but I think I just stared at her, in her eyes. She looks so different today with her black gown, more matured (and sweet haha. I tell you, her smile is flawless, beautiful.) in my view. I'm definitely going to see her first on March 12th (when I go back to school)!

20 minutes later we went back into the hall for the second half of the concert. It's Rachmaninov's magnificent work- his symphony no.2. The symphony started with a slow movement which is very dark and solemn. I felt the pressure, and the atmosphere of the hall changing.. I even imagined the peril during war time, like the picture on the cover of the concert programme information booklet. This achingly beautiful music is typical of Rachmaninov's works. As the information booklet's information guide wrote, "Thunderous outbursts from the percussion set the violins scampering for cover and the music relaxes momentarily before, like sunshine after a storm, it bursts through into a glorious and almost physically exhausting conclusion..." Bon mot. That section of the music was like an approaching thunderstorm... the feeling was overwhelming.

The second movement is a scherzo, "but Rachmaninov was not renowned for his sense of humour..." Although the movement turned a little enlightened but the dark, moody feeling was still there, laid in the background. However, the ending of this movement turned energetic.

The third movement is a very lovely one. When I heard the first few bars I felt that I was so much in love (ah I'm turning too emotional)! The music straightly took my heart. Shin Yee even said that she felt like crying. It was totally romantic, the sound of the clarinet was smoothly played out. "(the clarinet) Seeming to hover on the very brink of eternity it winds its leisurely way through soundscapes of immense beauty..." Immense beauty, yeah.. It was so beautiful that sometimes I felt my heart squeezing... not in bitter, but in pure beauty.

The fourth movement is a fast piece, marked by its tempo: Allegro vivace- adagio- Tempo precedente. It is the exact opposite of the moody first movement- the fourth movement is quite celebratory. For most of the movement it was pretty joyous, and in the end it escalated abruptly into a conclusion, Rachmaninov style.

Again, we clapped our hands red, but still don't have the gut to initiate a standing ovation. Peter told me that last time during Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No.1 concert everyone just stood up in unison, shouting "bravo" and clapped their hands non-stop. To sum up, the whole symphony was very dramatic. I felt like I was watching a movie, the emotion just flows with the music, and imagination flies with it too.

It was such a wonderful night. I just can't get enough of it! The few main themes of the pieces are still playing in my mind... We got out of the hall and took some photos (with the help of the sweetest Jia Xin ;) ). We then talked and laughed at the UFO again when going back (by LRT). I left at Bangsar station and we all bid good bye. I'll be seeing them again on March 12!

Anyway, here are (some of) the video links of the pieces played:
Dvorak- Carnival Overture

Liszt Piano Concerto No.1
Movement 1
Movement 2
Movement 3
Movement 4

P.S: My vocab has shrunk. It is time for me to work hard again.

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