my first western classical concert!! yaayyyy!! and that too, in LONDON! i must be lucky:)
had been to the queen elizabeth hall here on the bank of the thames. it was by the london sinfonietta, and they performed pieces from luigi nono’s ‘no hay caminos, hay que caminar’. it is a phrase taken from nono’s friend andrei tarkowskij, a prolific filmmaker. tarkowskij is worshipped among the film circuit. it means – there are no paths one must follow’.
the concert was brilliant. nono was known to produce works that broke the moulds of conventional symphonic compositions. what i heard in the concert was a practical demonstration of this. all i know of western classical is the tunes we hear in car reverse horns! mozart, beethoven, chopin…these are all names that we have just read, much less heard with intent. and we know that western classical is very structured and flows very nicely. but nono was totally different. what i heard that evening was very disconnected, broken and a bit harsh on the ear in the beginning. but as the concert moved ahead, i could grasp the beauty of the entire thing.
they had a pre-concert talk with nono’s wife, who said that his works depicted human suffering. images of a war torn italy and warsaw came up in my mind as the evening went ahead. the best thing was that even though the audience was listening to just angry jabs at the violin and sudden violent drumming, the effect in its entirety was stunning. it very clearly brought forth the scenario of war and the consequences, of fear, of impending disaster.
in the last piece, close to ten members of the orchestra consisting of the strings, trumpets and drums went and stood in the back aisles of the auditorium. once they started playing, the effect was too good! sound attacked us from all over and kept us alert at all times.
all in all, it was a very powerful concert, something that made me think about the conventional music of old, and what nono has brought in. as the quote says, there are no paths one must follow, and the concert demonstrated just that!