I have to admit that I unhealthy love Tchaikovsky Fifth symphony and I “collect” it for years from all imaginable sources.
I stopped by today at my local used CD store and in a bargain section I pulled out a double album of Korean Euro-Asian Orchestra. As I understand it was some kind of internal release by this own label: EAPO-008. I had no idea that they were, what were those live performances from 2005 and who was their conductor: Nanse Gum. However, I have topmost admiration and respect to a wonderful Korean conductor Myung-Whun Chung and I decided to extend to that Euro-Asian band a chance and to listen them. Sound almost condescending, doesn’t it? Why not?
The program was very ambitions: Tchaikovsky Fifth, Prokofiev First Symphony and Poulenc’s Two Piano concerto. There is a LOT that might be going wrong in there and particular with the subject of my snobbism - the Tchaikovsky Fifth and I with pleasure was full of anticipation that Tchaikovsky’s Fifth will take apart another orchestra.
I took a walkman from the store salesman put the CD in the walkman, put the walkman in my pocket and walked to see what they have in LP section… The Korean conductor was telling before play long stores and told many jokes on his Korean language. I had no idea what he was saying but I kind of liked that the recording cover the entire event. Also, seeing the reaction of the audiences it gave some idea about the acoustic of the Hall and consequentially the conductor’s idea about his chose of tempo.
The Euro-Asians were preparing to proceed to the opening theme of the first movement…. I began to laugh. After a few accords I stopped laughing….
….I was staying in that store for entire duration of the whole 4 movements and all while I was listing I constantly was thinking: I would like to see what they will do next. I recognized that there were some “issues” in there but I was getting an amassing very rare feeling: the pay of that orchestra, the total conducting arrangement of that fairly small for the given work band, the performing expressionism, and even the mistakes that the Koreans made… all of that delivers a amassing fleeing that the Orchestra and the Conductor really WANTED to play well: not to play as good as they can, but to play AS GOOD AS IT SHOULD BE and as good as the given peace demands. Were have thousands great musicians, way more capable then the players in the Euro-Asian Orchestra, those thousands musicians are sitting in well-fed orchestras for years, cash their salaries and it is very seldom possible to get out of them more music then juts “acceptable” commodity… With Euro-Asian Orchestra it sounded like it was different….
I brought the CD to home and played it on my “big” systems. Sure, the Euro-Asian Orchestra collapsed. They made many mistakes, wrong notes. They had very poor tone. The instruments sounded not as noble and “yellow” as they should. However, it was absolutely irrelevant. The Euro-Asian Orchestra played with such eagerness and with such zeal that their “forwardness” really overrided everything and I think it was due to what their conductor Nanse Gum did. He made each section not juts play own part but to scream own part. However, it was not the bogus self-serving screaming but rather well balanced scramming in context of the sound of entire orchestra and in context of the idea of the given music. The symphony sounded like kind of overly-animated but in very positive mining of this term. It was like Orchestra who play only Mahler decided to play Bruckner, so they did played as they use to but the contactor settled them where it was necessary…. Add to it a feeling that the musicians and the instruments are not necessary the greatest and your will have that crazy mix of anti-professionalism and raw desire that produces sometimes so fanatic spontaneous results.
I really liked what Nanse Gum made with his Euro-Asian bans and I relays would like to see him play as a guest-conductor leading more capable orchestras. There is something very interesting in this guy and if he could make our lethargic BSO and CSO to move their weary asses it would be very much worth to watch….
Romy the caT
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche