As Chennai loomed towards the completion of the Margazhi season, the Goethe institute organised another fiesta for the people in Chennai through a concert consisting of 73 musicians from the National Youth Orchestra of Germany. The show was part of the initiative’ Embrace Our Rivers’, steered by their Chief player, Hermann Baumer, which aimed to generate a conversation on water.
‘ Weather and forces of Nature ‘being the theme of the concert the orchestra played smithereens written exclusively for rivers on forces of nature and on geysers or steam springs, as in Geysir by John Leifs.. In the astonishing show, the rudiments of music and water poured collectively. On one hand, an exchange of intercultural collaboration and inventiveness between Indian and German musicians through workshops on AR Rahman’s Sunshine Orchestra and KM Music Conservatory were enhanced, on the other hand compositional works that anticipated and moored the theme of the event were under the spotlight.
The people in Chennai had a mesmerising experience being part of this magnificent concert encompassing of German’s premium young musicians. This highly acclaimed orchestras stopover to Chennai gave an account of the realistic western cultural music for the audience. Another concert following this held on the night before the celebrations of the Republic Day where orchestra played the Indian national anthem was a double treat for the Chennaites.
When asked about the reason behind such a theme to the project director Sonke Lentz, he said that, their choice of the theme, ‘Weather and Forces of Nature’ was to “create a desire for young musicians to conserve Mother Nature”. He elucidates, “The world climate summit that took place in Bonn, Germany is our home town. That stirred us musicians to make an avowal”.
The orchestra will interpret the theme in a way that “The powers of the natural surroundings will be perceived evidently by the spectators,” says Lentz. Denoting to their selection of smithereens, Lentz offers, “The musicians vibrantly define natural sensations such as of geysers and storms. That is the reason why the music is considered as universal. If someone knows what a storm resonances are like then they will also hear it in Tchaikovsky’s music.”
For Lentz, the issue of diminishing passion in classical does not dishearten him at all. “We cannot spot the weakening”, says Lentz. “There are a plenty of exceptionally good young musicians in Germany. And a huge crowd where many youngsters are the majority” he stimulates.
Establishing a full time career as a classical musician is easy – and with western classical, the severities are certain to be that much tougher than it is for the DJ’s or rock bands. “Initially, you need a lot of persistence, flair and luck to make a career in which ever genre one wants.” says Lentz.
“We are happy that Germany has theatres, opera houses and concert platforms in every major city along with almost 100 expert orchestras The rivalry for young musicians is hard-hitting, but if you really want to see yourself as a musician, you can do it “, he inspires.
Additionally for classical music, “It is important start early lessons from transient childhood,” says Lentz. “It is not rare for musicians to twitch learning at the age of six. If you want to absorb something very well, you have to rehearse it a lot. We rehearse for almost six hours a day on our instrumental stage. The evenings are thus a leisure time. But the musicians can’t resist and always aim for better performances.”
It is indeed a huge credit for us to work with the teenagers, he recognizes. “The 16 year old David is the youngest member in our team,” notes Lentz. “When we perform in Europe, there are many teenagers and even a 14 year old on stage with us; they all are music lovers and look forward to see themselves as great musicians”
Lents also reflects on different cultural backgrounds having explored widely across South and North America, Asia and Africa. “People in all countries love classical music,” he asserts. “There are some countries that are hesitant to applaud, but people are excited in their own way”.
Lentz is certain of that a theoretical thoughtfulness isn’t crucial to appreciate music. “Special education is not necessary to understand classical works.” He says. “Keep listening to music. The more one gets close to music, the more one can learn”.
To add more on to their on-going cultural exchanges, the Goethe Institut will also request five Indian musicians to Germany for the Beethoven- fest, to be held in Bonn later this September. “So the associations will continue.”
Even though their members have their playlist with disco and jazz numbers, they all listen to lot of classical music”. One can easily listen to their music by going online. “Digital Concerts Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic is the best place to listen us anytime”.