On the 8th and 9th of January 2015 I had the opportunity of listening to the Simón Bolívar Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel at the Royal Festival Hall on two different programmes containing Beethoven 5th Symphony, Wagner’s Entry of the Gods into Valhalla from Das Rheingold, Siegfried’s Rhine Journey from Gotterdammerung, Siegfried’s Death and Funeral Music from Gotterdammerung, Forest Murmurs from Siegfried, Ride of the Valkyries from Die Walküre and as encore Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde.For the second programme they played Julian Orbón’s 3 Versiones sinfónicas and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No.5.
I also could make it to the two rehearsals and I am writing this little note to make sure I never forget what a beautiful musical moments I lived in those circumstances, listening to nearly 200 Venezuelan musicians perform under the marvellous baton of Gustavo Dudamel. There was a deep search technically and spiritually in order to reach all these scores have to offer but also deep psychological search into the whole panoply of human feelings, sentiments, struggles, imagination, fulfilment. One could see developing before one’s eyes and ears the fragility of our universe next to the greatest power of our minds and physical might; beauty and many kinds of love were also expressed in those rehearsals and in the evenings in front of 5.000 people that gave standing ovations in recognition that something profoundly human had just been unfolded and unveiled in that concert hall. Lots of thought has gone into creating the music performed of course but also forming each of those fantastic musicians who obviously have the greatest desire to do their art well and sharing it with the world.
In the second rehearsal I have to admit that tears were flowing down my cheeks just listening to the Mahler famous Adagietto, there was a sadness in all of us, so many things are going wrong in the world, around us and near to our hearts that it was impossible not to give in before so much concentration and beauty.
It really was a feast that has inspired me a lot, so much that I do not feel this winter’s cold weather!