The evening of the 6th of April will forever be imprinted on my mind. Taking a taxi to The Royal Festival Hall the peach rays of spring sunset painted Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. I fell in love with London all over again.
We took our seats in The Royal Festival Hall to watch the Philharmonia Orchestra with Jakub Hrusa as conductor and the unbelievably talented Julian Rachlin on the violin.
It was heavenly.
Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto began. There is nothing quite like being immersed in orchestral music. Watching all the individuals on the stage with their instruments gives one an overwhelming sense of awe at the intelligence of humanity. With merely wood and strings feelings are stirred in the spectator causing tears and silence. When we strip back the elements that create this we become fully aware of the magnificence of the human race. Our desire to evoke emotions, our brilliance in learning and adapting to the world in order to flood one another in sheer musical brilliance.
Julian Rachlin on the violin played with brilliant speed the most difficult scales and movements on the violin. Playing the higher notes on the E string which can, often, sound like screeches was morphed into an angelic pitch, just as the violin should be played. Each swing of the bow was played with ferocious passion and by the end of the concerto Rachlin was drenched in beads of sweat. He had given his all in each note, each scale and each arppeggio.
At the beginning of the candenza Rachlin played the quadruple stop pizzicato with ease and grace. Such a moment in the piece causes the listeners to re-focus, aligning their attention away from the mass of performers to the singular strum of the violinist’s finger on the string. The magic of the singular self against a backdrop of the multitude reiterates how much potential lies in the individual; what power we harness in every part of our being.
When the canon (which you can hear at 7 minutes) is repeated it immerses one in the romance of an era. A romance of something that has not died but lives on. I am so grateful for having experienced this piece live and I recommend to anyone, regardless of their music taste, to share in the joys of orchestral live performances.
Classical music fuses us with our ancestry and is a genre that continually reminds us of how vulnerable we are to emotion: to the world around us.