I never had a strong connection to classical music. I’m not disliking it, but I never cared much about it either. Most of my experiences with classical music come from movies, be it that a classical piece is part of the score, or the original soundtrack itself has a classical approach. Like for example the Lord Of The Rings trilogy.
Of course it’s no coincidence that I mention Howard Shore‘s epic soundtrack here. Because yesterday, I attended my first full classical concert, or rather said a classical soundtrack concert. In 2003, Howard Shore took parts from his triple-soundtrack and put them together to a 2-hour-symphony. Since the debut of the LOTR-Symphony in Wellington, New Zealand, this work has been touring around the world, and finally reached Switzerland. As a big fan of the movies as well as the soundtrack, there was no chance I was going to miss this!
The concert was held in Switzerlands newest (and probably best) concert hall, the Culture- and Congress-Hall in Lucerne. It was designed and built by French star architect Jean Nouvel, and a particular attention was directed to the accoustics of the concert hall (as you’d expect it). It is a pretty impressive building, from the outside as well as the inside, and it has become another trademark of one of Switzerlands most beautiful cities.
The orchestra consisted of 90 musicians and was completed by a classical and a boys choir. The whole concert was accompanied by drawings from LOTR-artists Alan Lee and John Howe, projected overhead onto a large screen. This not only added a lot to the atmosphere of the concert, but also led the listener through Tolkien‘s epic tale.
Speaking of epic: this was the first word that came to my mind after a few minutes into the concert. I was just blown away by the sound in the hall! I imagined it to be good, but it was just perfect! Every note, from the slightest violin stroke to the loudest drum beat came through crystal-clear. The orchestra gave a perfect performance, the choirs were excellent, and the various solo singers sent a chill down my spine. I was once again transported back to Middle-Earth, and the extensive standing ovation at the end of the concert gave the impression that I wasn’t the only one.
The concert also made me realise again how beautiful music can sound in the right place. In times where lots of people only listen to music through their digital devices or via the computer, it’s good to see that you still have the chance to catch music in such a pure form which really deserves the term “art”. I just hope that future generations won’t forget how music was created and brought to people in the first place. I’m sure that this wasn’t my last visit to a concert like this… if it will be one of the “real” classics next time, I can’t say yet. But as they say, there’s a first for everything…
Here are some excerpts from the Lord Of The Rings-Symphony, played by the Minnesota Orchestra: