It was a busy Friday evening at the Sydney Opera House. There was a ballet performance at the Opera Theatre. At the Concert Hall, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra would present a programme consisting Haydn's Symphony No. 99, Berg's Three Pieces for Orchestra, Dean's and Brahms' Symphony No. 2. I would consider myself lucky that I had the foresight to collect my tickets a few days earlier. Afterall, I do not like to queue when there is a crowd. I suppose self-knowledge could help us devise strategies to live our lives with greater ease.
I decided that it was better for me to find my way to the Concert Hall early, so before it was even 7.30 p.m., I held my concert ticket in my hand and headed for the Concert Hall. There was a strings quartet performance at the lobby area. I figured that the performance was given by some of the participants of the Sydney Opera House's World Orchestras Education Programme. I mustered enough composure to navigate my way into the Concert Hall through the crowds.
No photography is allowed inside the Concert Hall. However, there was no rule to say that no sketching is allowed. I could appreciate how at times a sketchbook could be more relevant than the camera. I could sketch the Concert Hall and no one would say that I had flout the rules!
It was at least 20 minutes before the start of the concert. I was delighted to see some of the members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra's double bass section up on the stage warming themselves up. That I saw as good luck for yours truly. I happily did a sketch of the stage of the Concert Hall as a memento.
The orchestra was playing to a full-house. Even the standing seats were taken up. My seat offered me a good view and sound of the orchestra. I could enjoy a good view of the double bass section too.
Honestly, I was feeling a little tired from the long day. The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra has a way to inspire its audiences with its sound. As I browsed through the Berlin Philharmonic's Sydney Opera House's souvenir
booklet, what struck me was the cultural mandate of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra stated by Sir Simon Rattle that goes: "Music is no mere luxury, but instead a fundamental need. Music must be a vital and essential element in the life of each individual."
Audience to the concert had the pleasure to listen to Dean's Komarov's Fall. Brett Dean is an Australian composer who was a member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra viola section from 1985 to 1999. I suppose there was a special significance to present his composition during Berlin Philharmonic Orhcestra's tour to the land Down Under.
My favourite part of the concert was the orchestra's rendition of the work of one of my favourite composers, Brahms. Brahms' Symphony No. 2 opened in a balanced orchestral sound that immediately captured my ears' attention for the entire duration of the work. The second movement that opened with the cello section was the most moving rendition of the symphony I had ever heard. The third movement delighted my ears with its contrasting colours. The fourth movement was brilliantly articulated with one of the most balanced orchestral sound that touched my soul and heart with the vision to press on.
Brahms' Symphony No. 2 was so marvellously performed that I could still remember the clarity and beauty of the sounds from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Balanced was the word. The symphony was put together so heavenly by the orchestra that I felt deeply moved by the music. Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra gave the best live rendition of Brahms' Symphony No. 2 that I have heard to date. I was greatly inspired by the orchestra. Bravo!
It was a night of inspiration. I was very pleased with my choice to listen to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House. Actually, the experience was way better than when I heard them a week later at the Esplanade Concert Hall for a different programme.
After the concert, the music from the concert kept ringing in my ears and mind so heavenly.
People and moments that I am grateful for:
1) I am grateful that I happened to realise that the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra was performing at the Sydney Opera House during my visit to Sydney. This helped me eventually decide to get a ticket to one of the concerts.
2) I am grateful that I could have some financial means to treat myself to an inspiring concert by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
3) Many thanks to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for a wonderful rendition of Brahms' Symphony No. 2 and a wonderful concert!
4) It is a gift that I could sketch. With this skill, I need not depend on the camera at all times.
A new thing that I did:
1) It was my first time listening to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra live!
2) I sketched inside the Sydney Opera House's Concert Hall for the first time in my life.
My learning points:
1) Some great things in life are worthwhile making time for and investing in.
2) Great musicianship starts with living life well.
Berliner Philharmoniker (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra)