The Transcendent Power of Live Music​

The Munich Symphony Orchestra was one of the most thrilling performances that I watched during my college years. Overall, it was light and made my mind wander. At first, I felt rude and tried to stay fully focused on the concert, but then I allowed the music to carry me to a different place with the sounds in the background of my lucid state.

After watching them perform, I came to the conclusion that the best performances arguably leaves the audience in a state of wonderment. I was so immersed in the music that I became entranced for a duration of the show into a transcendent, elevated state from the Munich Symphony Orchestra’s blend of somber and bold pieces.

The introduction was intentionally and abruptly cacophonous, perhaps to get the attention of the crowd because it is unexpected and sets a fun tone for the audience. The beginning piece displayed a level of dissonance with shrill, high notes which rapidly eased into a slower melody that was light and jovial. The late addition of the harp with the rest of the orchestra left me with this breezy feeling and I immediately daydreamed of innocent fairy tales. The song reminded me of the early stages of childhood, and I thought it was fitting for a Disney movie.

The next piece was also family friendly. It sounded familiar with a cunning sounding introduction that went “da-dun” repetitively. Unfortunately, I could not pinpoint the name of the song, but I  heard sleigh bells ringing as the performers carried on with their second piece. The dynamics of the sleigh song was loud and escalated very quickly and had the audience fixated as the musician played as if they were rejoicing over a celebration. The song was a good choice for an early piece to get the crowd awake and excited for what is yet to come in the show, a clever decision made by the music director.

I was thrilled to see the bassoon get a big part in a romantic slow song, a kind of tune that is shown in older romance films where intimacy is growing, and love is developing between the main characters. In the piece that followed, I noticed that the violins were happily bobbing their heads to a, particularly intense and fast-paced solo from the double bass. During the song, I felt like I was watching a race and the audience was glued to the stage so I think this was a favorite for the crowd and the musicians. There was a constant plucking of strings that created a stealthy sound followed by tambourines in the distance.

The guitar strumming during the performance was highly animated especially the final cadences which sounded like the guitar was singing a song, having a life of its one. This piece would be good for a swaying dance because it sounded lyrical. The next piece reminded me of a bullfight; it was extremely slow and carried out with nuances with median strokes of the guitar for dramatic effect. The music was similar to the ones that I have heard in soap operas that show the character is feeling melancholy. The harmonies were superb during this piece and almost lulled me into a peaceful sleep until it smoothly transitioned to music that sounded more party themed. The Munich Symphony Orchestra played long high pitches during this bright, smooth, and cheer-filled song. It was highly animated with a pulsating rhythm that was bright and cartoon-like. The melody was a repetitive joyful cheer that went back and forth with the guitars and the orchestra.

I was pleasantly surprised when the guitar started playing the same chord and the song began to sound more like a timer with a strikingly clear texture because I had never heard anything like it before. This gave me a rush of energy, a sensation that caused me to feel very aware of the present. Then there was a sharp contrast to the piece that went after; the order was done purposely to highlight the sounds of each piece; serious music is often paired with more upbeat ones to provide relief to the audience. I listened closely as an unexpected twist emerged where the dynamics immediately changed; a brief pause was followed by somber music with the softest background noise by the orchestra.

The show ended with a bang with the trumpets and the guitar having the melody. There were clapping sounds from the symbols and the flutes swooped in with controlled, but loose sounding notes. At that very moment, I imagined spirals that were reaching higher elevations with their rapidly raised pitches. For the grand finale, there were bells that were speeding up until they made a booming thunderous rage sound and abruptly stopped. In the end, the crowd gave several standing ovations, and I joined because the Munich Symphony Orchestra’s performance transported me to a different place where I was not worried about my current troubles at the time. I happily watched the performance in a carefree state of wonderment.

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