Thursday, February 22, 2007


I had long back established that I had no ear for classical music. On the rare occassions when I came upon classical playbacks and performances, I would yearn to switch the music or escape.
However, during my graduate studies, I found a set of western classical compositions and got into a habit of playing them in my room as a melodious backdrop while I busied myself with an assignment or a reading. Slowly, my ear got attuned to the melody. Perhaps my new found interest was part of the serenity package that comes with age :-)

This weekend, this interest led me to attend the first western classical symphony of my life. The Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) is currently running its second season at the NCPA and is holding 4 celebrity performances as part of the season. I attended the second of these performances, where three famous compositions were played. The compositions were authored by no less than Mozart, Poulenc and Schubert, and each of them was a delight to listen to. While Mozart's piece was rendered with clarinet, two violins and a cello, Poulenc's was played on a piano and a clarinet, and Schubert's composition was brought alive by a piano, a violin and a cello. Even as each instrument put its own soul into the music, I was specially taken with the piano, particularly in Schubert's symphony. The pianist was Temirzhan Yerzhanov, who, for the uninitiated like me, is a very renowned performer accross the world, and does India pround by being a part of the SOI.
I was also touched with two other performances. One of them was the rendition of Allegro in Mozart's symphony, which was a sad, touching tune and the two violins lent it an etheral quality. The second was part of Poulenc's symphony - a piece called Romanza, where the piano and the clarinet harmonized to engineer a beautiful melody.

The whole set-up was very classy and first grade, and the Tata theatre at NCPA was a perfect setting for the performance. It appears that the hall has been designed for musical performances and has very good acoustics, which did much to enhance the music.

Overall, it was a nice experience and made up perfectly for missing the Roger Waters show.