Mighty 5® Tour
On the night of Aug. 13, Thierry Fischer had a chance to relax a bit in the audience, listening to a brass quintet of the orchestra. It also gave him a chance to reflect on the performance he conducted the night before. Here are his thoughts.
Tonight I had the pleasure of sitting in the audience at a gorgeous location inside Dead Horse State Park (outside of Moab) and listening to a brass quintet of our musicians perform a number of short pieces. Like our first night in Teasdale Community Park, ominous rain clouds hung overhead and lightning crackled in the distance. Unlike that first night, however, I was able to sit back, relax, and just listen.
The orchestra played exceptionally well Tuesday, despite harsh and unpredictable conditions–it was windy, rainy, and cold. As the light sprinkling of rain turned to a downpour during intermission, we played on, spurred on and united by the energy rising from the enthusiastic crowd of about 1,100. I got wet–as did several musicians–but I didn’t care; I was sweating under the exertion of conducting and the heat from the overhead stage lights anyway.
In the midst of these challenges, I still had this feeling of being alone in the middle of nowhere, in that place where you find absolute focus; it’s an almost spiritual, out-of-body experience. There we were, the musicians and I, in front of an audience, battling the elements, yet somehow isolated by a special creative space of our owe. It’s like the eye of storm—you’re surrounded by chaos, yet you have your own inner artistic cocoon.
The musicians on Tuesday were all that a conductor could hope for: responsive, committed, eager.
Soprano Celena Shafer was a radiant, magical stage presence, one of those rare musicians with perfect technique and the ability to completely adapt to whatever work she is performing, in this case “Quando me’n vo'” from La boheme and Strauss’s Fröhlingsstimmen (Voices of Spring).
Another highlight of that night was seeing the way we connected with the audience and community through live music. After the concert concluded, there was a long line of people waiting to tell me how they were moved and affected emotionally by the performance. One person said it gave him hope during a dark time in life, while a group of teenagers could not believe how electrifying it was to experience live classical music that they’d only seen on television or heard on the radio. It touched me profoundly to know that, in making classical music easily available, we were having a crucial impact on these people’s lives.
August 15, 2014
Thierry Fischer, Music Director, Utah Symphony