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Under the spotlight, a handsome young man strode onto the stage . He wore an impeccable dress suit, paired with a deep red tie .
The clothes he wore seemed to be no different from the other members’ behind him—— It was the orchestra’s uniform, after all . But, the audience was shocked when they saw him .
Was he the concertmaster?!
Before they could think more, Kawaguchi moved onto the stage . Hugging the young man tightly, he confirmed their suspicions . “He’s really the concertmaster?!”
Seeing the name “Qi Mu” on the brochure, several of them already recognized him . The Paris’ National Conservatory of Music was the top music inst.i.tution in France . Being able to get high scores in two a.s.sessments consecutively, even those with a slight preference for cla.s.sical music would know his name .
Moreover, Leonid had written a review on him . It was full of praise, making him famous .
But, it was just his name that was famous . When the audience saw him for the first time, they were impressed that such a talented violinist… not only was he young but also very beautiful!
They looked forward to the performance even more .
Onstage, after Qi Mu and the orchestra members bowed to the audience, he sat at the concertmaster’s position and looked at Kawaguchi on the podium . They had worked together several times, so they could understand each other with just a look .
The next second, Kawaguchi raised his baton, and the sound of the string instruments immediately chimed .
Tchaikovsky’s 《Violin Concerto in D major》 was divided into three movements . Since it was a violin concerto, the violin was the protagonist of the piece .
After a long and unhurried ensemble, a splendid and melancholic violin rang out .
Since Qi Mu was the concertmaster, he sat to the left of the conductor and was the leading performer .Advertis.e.m.e.nt
His eyebrows furrowed, Qi Mu played low, soft tones with the utmost focus . The moderate allegro drew on like a singer, singing softly about the sadness of its life .
Qi Mu’s violin was like a stream flowing through an empty valley, full of loneliness and melancholia . Although sometimes blocked by the stones in its path, it always moved forward, using melancholia as a way to express the pursuit of a wonderful life .
Because it was a cadenza, people paid more attention to the violin solo, since it was also a test of the concertmaster’s skill .
The audience had long guessed that this young man with such great fame would be talented . But, when they heard such a dreamlike 《Violin Concerto in D major》, they were so surprised, they couldn’t respond . Some couldn’t even believe it——
“Is that really a student?!”
Music was never about age . Just like Mozart, who created the famous 《Violin Sonata in C major》 at the age of 8, no one could imagine the limits of a genius .
Although they didn’t dare compare the youth to the gifted Mozart, many of them thought: This is probably the most melodious and graceful 《Violin Concerto in D major》 I’ve heard in years!
From the allegro in the first movement to the short ballad attacca in the second and the third movement…
Furnished with top-notch audio equipment, the Philharmonie de Paris brought the 《Violin Concerto in D major》 back to life . The melodious tune and the moving sound of the violin depicted a lifelike Russian landscape . The people couldn’t help but marvel at the wonders of nature .
At the end of this piece, the audience gave them thunderous applause after a loud “Bravo!”
Min Chen’s burning gaze was glued to the youth on the stage . While clapping, his lips were slightly curled in an imperceptible smile . Beside him, Leonid was waking up from a trance . He looked at the joyful orchestra members on the stage and at the concertmaster in the front .
“It’s only been half a year . I can’t believe it… He made another breakthrough, at his level?!” Leonid clapped as he muttered to himself . “Isn’t he progressing too quickly? His splendor wasn’t inferior to Wei Ai’s Zayev, wasn’t it? And… What’s with the orchestra’s ability to cooperate? Are they really students?!”
Min Chen’s excellent hearing allowed him to hear Leonid’s muttering amidst the warm applause . Looking down, Min Chen whispered, “So, Leonid, what do you think of the performance?”
“It’s very good, of course…” Leonid’s words stopped abruptly . The famous music critic suddenly raised his face . Dropping his hands, he said, “Very good… But it’s just impossible as it’s far, far away from the standard I set, haha!”
Min Chen stared at Leonid . He knew he had a short-term memory . Min Chen didn’t say a word .
Leonid reached out to wipe the sweat from his forehead, thinking: Luckily, I was quick . Luckily…
Leonid breathed out in relief, but he didn’t expect the next performance would make him… cling to his seat for his life .
Although the orchestra was invited to perform at the Philharmonie de Paris and could perform a serious concert before a large audience… to get Leonid’s attention was a feat in itself .
So, why was Leonid there that night?
It was because he received a secret repertoire and an official invitation from the concert hall .
The thin card was printed with the repertoire of the night’s performance so the audience would know the pieces . Of course, Leonid had known the repertoire from the get-go . It was because of the pieces that he decided to attend the concert——
He wanted to know… to what extent the students could perform Tchaikovsky’s music .
Tchaikovsky was the greatest musician and composer of Russia in the 19th century . He wrote many symphonies, operas, and ballets in his life that became the force that compelled Russian’s development in cla.s.sical music .
This brilliant maestro’s repertoire was full of Russian folk flavor, using beautiful melodies to showcase the charm of the world’s largest country——their vast territory overflowing with gorgeous scenery .
… Leonid was very fond of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies .
Among them, 《Symphony No . 1 in G minor》 was his favorite .
This piece also had a nickname, 《Winter Daydreams》 . True to its name, it depicted the frozen beauty of the vast nation . Full of love for the land, Tchaikovsky described a wonderful winter scene that could never be seen in France, in four movements .
The orchestra roared through the concert hall .
The pa.s.sion in the violin group, the lingering cello, the woodwind group’s joy, and the bra.s.s groups’ contemplation and exploration…
The wonderful melody reached the highest resonance in the last movement, transforming the dark winter night into brilliant winter suns.h.i.+ne . The famous fighting nation won the battle in the cold winter and shared its precious joy with the audience .
Running, laughing, singing, dancing, whistling…
When the violin reached the highest note, they finally arrived at the closure of this wonderful dream with a melodious and bright tune .
When the music stopped, a loud “Bravo” resounded through the hall .
Sitting in the front row, the French music critic couldn’t stop himself from standing up and applauding the orchestra .
Leonid never imagined that a group of young students could play such an excellent 《Winter Daydreams》!
This performance brought him back to eight years earlier, when he listened to Bai Ai’s performance of the same piece in Berlin . The melody, with a trace of metal texture, made him involuntarily cry . From then on, it had always been his favorite piece .
With his applause, the rest of the audience followed suit, and an unprecedented wave of cheers broke out .
Leonid sat back in his seat amidst the thunderous applause . Although he had stopped clapping, he kept praising . “It was so great, I couldn’t believe my ears! A college orchestra could play Tchaikovsky《Winter Daydreams》like that, with such excellence?! How could there be such an excellent college orchestra, with such lovely students?!”
Just like the fans who had entered the pit, Leonid turned to the man at his side and said, “Auston! Focus! Did you hear that 《Winter Daydreams》 just now? Oh G.o.d, I didn’t expect these children could play so well! I think it will take them five years . If they train together for another five years, I believe their 《Winter Daydreams》 would beat the one you conducted!”
The man calmly raised his eyebrows and stared at Leonid . The man kept speaking . “d.a.m.n it, I thought I would just listen to them casually tonight . I didn’t expect them to give such an excellent performance! Their 《Violin Concerto in D major》 was also outstanding . Maybe the students are really good with Tchaikovsky’s music?”
With that, Leonid began to probe Min Chen . “Oh, Auston, you’re more familiar with orchestra than I am . I wonder if you think the orchestra… Ah…”
His words stopped abruptly as he looked at the man . After blabbing for so long, Leonid finally remembered… the d.a.m.ned bet .
With an eyebrow slightly raised, Min Chen asked: “Are they outstanding?”
Leonid, refusing to answer: “…”
“I’ll be very glad to see your review in 《World of Music》 once again, Leonid . I believe the lovely students will buy four or five copies each to give to their families . I can just picture them, telling everyone they know to listen to… your favorite 《Winter Daydreams》 . ”
Leonid, full of tears inside: “…”
No bet, I didn’t bet!!!
G.o.d, how on earth did he board Auston’s pirate s.h.i.+p?!!!