Yesterday evening I went to Saarbücken for a concert. The state orchestra played Gustav Mahler in the congress hall.
The first half was Mahler’s 1st symphony. The soprano Ms Patricia Rozario sung in Spanish, I didn’t understand the lyrics. But there were tears on Ms Rozario’s face, and some extremely high pitchs suggested unusual desperation. The instrumental sound was very dark too. In the pause a friend told me he understood the Spanish somehow. It was about the day when Jesus Christ was dying. The vocalist kept questioning “Why? Why?? Why??? But why should I suffer from such pain?”
The second half was simply spectacular including “Aus den Tagen der Jugend”, “Frühling und kein Ende”, “Blumine”, “Mit vollen Segeln”, “Commedia humana”, “Todtenmarsch in Callots Manier”, “Dall’Inferno al Paradiso”. Mahler is Mahler. Extraordinarily talented when little and testosterone poisoned as a grown man. He’s not my favourite type but his works did thrill me. Actually in the second there were some amusing affairs on the stage which could be quite distracting, like the first violin of violin II suddenly lay his head backwards and his violin was completely out of support from his shoulder or neck or chin, but his fingers and arm didn’t stop….and the viola department was amusing too, a viola was somehow broken at least twice and the first viola laughed out beautifully. She’s a Chinese. Despite of these small amusements it was a successful concert to me. My heart beat wildly and my breath almost stopped when “Dall’Inferno al Paradiso” hit its most splendid section. It was awesome.
By the way, the first violin of violin I sounded very outstanding, sometimes like solo even though the whole violin I department was playing the same notes. This phenomenon could hardly be captured in CD records.
In the night an old couple sent me to my dorm. We were friends since months ago when I was attending concerts in my town. The old gentleman can really go into the music. It was he who tole me what the miserable first half was all about. This couple have both been to China for several times. This concert is the last one in our spring and summer session, we said goodbye to each other and we will meet in autumn again.
When I got home there was a crazy party in my apartment. One of my housemate invited at least 10 people to our apartment. I asked them to be a little bit quiet since I have to work this morning. But they were all drunk, my plea didn’t work at all. They stopped at about 6:00am this morning, I didn’t sleep the whole night. This morning was in a terrible shape so I didn’t go to office, read some documentation at dorm.
I talked to one of the people who came to the crazy party in the afternoon. He said “Next time you must insult us if we do so. ” Well, how can I? First, I never tried to insult people in words and don’t want to; Second, they are all muscle young men and got drunk, chances are that my verbal insult would invite their physical violence to me. Auditory violence is enough for me….
Today I felt very tired and depressed because of lack of sleep. In the evening I was playing my instrument. A very melancholic piece called “tenderness”. It was soothing and sedate for me, a little bit sugar-coated though. I haven’t played pipa for long, the strings hurt my fingers and my fingers obviously lack enough strength to perform well or last long. Fingers of my left hands cannot reach very far from each, in order to recovered to the skill level I had before, much exercises are needed.
Music is the kind of existence which requires highest level of technique – a lot of hard, even boring working was necessary at the first place – and meanwhile the most sensual one! Unlike math, a master of math might be able to feel the beauty of math but to those who lack the theory/skill foundation, a perfect formula wouldn’t cause any sensual pleasure. Music is not the case; Compared to some more “basic” instincts which don’t require any study to enjoy, hard work on music does pay off, knowledge does pay off. Music is a mystery yet beautiful paradox to me, I also believe it’s one of the ultimate value in the world. If there’s nothing else to love in the world, music is the one, ambient in time and space, makes one at least feel less lonely.