Sunday, February 20, 2011

Gyabo! My first orchestra experience


Ever since I've watched the anime Nodame Cantabile, I have been captivated by the idea of an orchestra. Playing a musical instrument is one thing, but the feeling of a group of people working together to produce a rousing number like Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" or Beethoven's "Eroica"... it just produces so much impact that tends to overwhelm the listener.

So it became one of my goals to watch an orchestra live. Easier said than done.

One of my problems is where in the Philippines can I find an orchestra. Admittedly, our country is not a place where classical music is lauded or popular. I can't blame them, because prior to Nodame Cantabile, I could probably care less. The only orchestra and composer I knew was John Williams and that was because I was a fan of Star Wars and his work in other films. And when I found an orchestra and a concert, there was a problem of who I could rope in to go with me. Even if I paid for their ticket, I doubted my friends will join me in what I suppose to them is a really boring concert.

But yesterday, it was like a blessing from heaven when I saw an tarpaulin banner in Art in the Park. It was for a free concert of FILharmoniKA led by Maestro Gerard Salonga the next day in Bel Air, Makati. Imagine my happiness at finally being able to fulfill one of the items in my Bucket List. And for FREE!

Thankfully, my friend was also game and this evening, after a light meal at Razon's, off we went to the Multi-Purpose Hall of Bel Air Village.

Despite the flyers saying that the show will start promptly at 7PM, they were still a few minutes late (well, according to my clock which IMO is the most accurate). It was only a few minutes, though, and then I finally heard my first orchestra number. It was the Philippine National Anthem. LOL

The Set List

Anyway, the orchestra soon officially started with Mikhail Glinka's "Ruslan and Ludmilla". Maybe it was my excitement, but this must have been my favorite of the night followed by John William's theme from "Star Wars". They also played themes from several movies including Schindler's List, Pink Panther, and James Bond. It was a great experience, being a movie lover myself, seeing how those music that shaped those films were created. They also played an orchestra version of "Muntik ng Maabot ang Langit" which was originally by True Faith along with another number from Filipino composer Josefino Cenizal (Hindi Kita Malimot).

It was a really a fun night and I bet those people who just happened to drop by or was dragged there by someone somehow enjoyed it too. The selection showed the variety of what an orchestra can do - that it was not just limited to sleepy classical numbers (though I would have preferred more of this). Having experienced watching an orchestra performance, maybe they are like me who wanted to watch more in the future, given the opportunity.

After all, I haven't heard Beethoven yet.


Suggested shows about orchestra/classical music:
Nodame Cantabile (anime/live action)
Beethoven Virus (Korean drama)
Kiniro no Corda (anime)

For more information about FILharmoniKA:
FILharmoniKA Facebook page

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