Sunday, August 18, 2013

8 Jul 2013: The performance at Bad Tatzmannsdorf

After more than an hour of travelling on the coach and a stop-over for dinner at Restaurant Weinstadl, the NUS Symphony Orchestra reached the Bad Tatzmannsdorf Open Air Pavillon, 7431 Bad Tatzmannsdorf, Joseph Haydn-Platz. The performance that we put up was a part of the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival's series of concerts.

Photo courtesy of Cherry Chan.

When we reached the performance venue, my first instinct was to prepare for sound-check. At times I think I could do myself a big favour by not taking myself too seriously. Then again, it is a matter of being disciplined so that I could get myself ready to play in the performance. I love the idea of performing at an outdoor venue which is somewhat sheltered. The experience was as if we could interact with the world at large that surrounded the performing space. It was our last official performance in Austria and I was glad that it took place at a beautiful venue. There was natural air to provide ventilation!

Double Basses that were loaned to the orchestra.

One of the loveliest aspects of summer in Austria is that the sun would set much later. That meant more hours of sunlight. At 7.30 p.m. Austria time, it was still bright when the performance started. It also meant that there was no need for powerful streets lights for the audience to watch the performance.

The programme for the performance was:
1) Beethoven: Symphony No. 1, 4th movement
2) Low Shao Suan, Low Shao Ying: Danses Joyeuses
3) Brahms: Hungarian Dance No.1
4) Strauss: Voices of Spring
5) Dvorak: New World Symphony, 4th movement
6) Liu Tieshan, Mao Yuan: Dance of the Yao

I am thankful for the friendly and appreciative audience. The orchestra received heart-warming applauses between each repertoire that we played. Dance of the Yao appeared to be the most well-received. I wondered if this was due to the recency effect since it was the last item in our programme? Then again, given its style of writing, perhaps it was a refreshing piece of music for our audience in Bad Tatzmannsdorf?

At the end of our performance, a gentleman stood up from the audience seats and asked for a violin case.

In my mind, I was wondering if he had wanted to autograph one of the violin cases to congratulate the orchestra for a successful performance at Bad Tatzmannsdorf. When one of our orchestra members presented the gentleman with her violin case, I was wondering to myself what would happen to the violin case.

The next thing we knew, I heard from the orchestra's members sitting nearby me that the gentleman had placed some cash into that violin case and many members from the audience followed suit! It was beyond our expectations that the audience responded to our performance with heartfelt appreciation and with tips too.

It was possibly my first time playing for an outdoor orchestral concert whereby the audience responded in such unexpectedly generous manner. The orchestra members responded by thanking the audience and playing an excerpt from Dance of the Yao.

Photo courtesy of Jess Lim.

After playing the excerpt, while I felt that I would like to continue performing for the appreciative audience, all things had to come to a beautiful end at some point in time. Instinctively, each of us orchestra members bowed and expressed our words of gratitude once again to our audience.

Parting the beautiful town of Bad Tatzmannsdorf and the friendly audience was not easy. Although we were aware that our coach was possibly waiting for us, a number of us continued to exchange conversations with some of the members from the audience while others started to take photographs against the lovely stage as a memento. Subsequently, after the concert, we learnt that one of the members of the audience was so moved by our performance that she teared while listening to us performing.

That shall be one of my most memorable performances thus far. I am thankful that it happened in a beautiful town of Bad Tatzmannsdorf.

Bad Tatzmannsdorf.

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