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King Of Classical Music Chapter 4

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A+ A- Chapter 4

Chapter 4 – The Eastern Sun had begun to burn.

Indeed, it was as Zheng Weiqiao said; the middle aged man B City Orchestra really did have a bit of skill.  He was able to play the second movement of Dvorak’s “Symphony No.6 in D Major” in such a gentle manner.

The music softly unfolded, as if a gentle hand was plucking directly at your heartstrings.  Even Qi Mu had a good evaluation of the performance.  It was a pity during the closing, the middle-aged man was obviously too impatient to end it calmly.

Qi Mu frowned.

If this was a concert in Europe, such a major mistake would gain a warning or even result in being dismissed from an orchestra.  However, it was only an audition, and the man performed well enough to make others watch.

“Qi family’s kid, there is no talent that can immediately make you successful.  If your parents died earlier, I would have disciplined you in their place, so that you would know what to say and what not to say, where to go and where not to go.”  This middle aged man deliberately walked over to Qi Mu’s side after he played his songs, sneering as he spoke.

Qi Mu suddenly gave a laugh at what was said… This man truly thought he push him around as he wished?

“Mr. Lu, do you know… what kind of people offered before you?”

The middle aged man gave a quick look and asked subconsciously: “What kind?”

The eyebrows of the handsome man were slightly furrowed.  Qi Mu pretended to think about it for a long time, then finally told him: “The conductor of the B City Symphony Orchestra Mister Old [1] Tan, Chairman Xu of Huaxia’s Music a.s.sociation, S City Symphony Orchestra’s director…Munich [2] Philharmonic Orchestra’s lead violinist Mister Verona, and Vienna Symphony Orchestra’s director Mister Derek.  Well, that’s all I can remember for the time being.”

[1] Lao Xiansheng Tan.  The “Lao” is to show that he’s a very experienced person and has been for a long time (the Xiansheng is the Mister part).  Translating it to English is awkward though, since I didn’t think “Lao” would end up being used like this.

[2] Capital of Bavaria, Germany. 

Qi Mu’s spoke calmly, but the people listening in to his cheerful voice stared at him in surprise, stunned voices ringing out.

And the more names the middle aged person heard, the darker his face grew.  The only name he knew about was the conductor from the B City Symphony Orchestra.   He was not involved with such gossip about the music director of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, it was too far away from his world.

This man originally wanted to taunt Qi Mu and his deceased family, and hit the prodigy while he was down.  He didn’t expect to be hit back and thoroughly lose face.  Even a fool knew not to be too aggressive [3]; if these seniors were on the Qi parents’ side, it was impossible for him to humiliate Qi Mu.

[3] The original line was要知道, 瘦死的骆驼比马大, which was comparing (?) a camel (a blockhead) to the biblical figure Martha (who was known to be aggressive).

It was his fault that Qi Mu humiliated him when he himself was trying to bully him.

In the hearts of the older generation, there was always a steelyard suspended [4].

[4] Sorry, I’m unsure what this really means 老前辈的心里,可一直有杆秤悬着呢。I translated it literally but I don’t know what it’s trying to imply.

The middle aged man had a dark expression and spat out “Speak again when you have the talent to pa.s.s this audition,” and aggressively left.  Qi Mu watched his back as it grew distant, eyes full of pity.

Those who are blinded by jealousy will not go far on this ro

ad.

Qi Mu didn’t come early today, so his serial number is ranked in the last few.  When it was his turn, there were only three of four people around.  The middle aged man was also there, his cold face watching Qi Mu, ready to laugh.

“Oh, does this kid think that even though he hasn’t played in a few years, he can compete with us?”

Qi Mu did not give any attention to the provocations.  After hearing his number he put down his rosin, which had been constantly used, and walked towards to the stage.

The stage of the audition was a small theatre.  Several judges from the B City Symphony Orchestra sat in the front row.  A bright spotlight illuminated the center of the stage, leaving the performer in a standing position.

Qi Mu calmly walked into place.

“Qi Mu…?”  The lead violinist of B City’s Symphony Orchestra read the name in surprise then turned to the white haired old man on his side, tentatively asking, “Old Tan is he… that Qi Mu?”

The white-haired old man grunted coldly and said: “Listen to the song.”

The lead violinist smiled a bit and did not ask any further.

“Number 36, Qi Mu.  Please listen to my performance of the 2nd movement in Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 6 in D Major.””

As soon as the words were said, Lu’s face made a dark expression.  The other players around him laughed into their hands as they pointed their fingers at Qi Mu.  As for the people seated in the judging panel, they weren’t expecting what was said.  Du Sheng, the lead violinist of the B City Symphony Orchestra, was the first to ask him curiously: “Qi Mu, didn’t you originally choose to play the fourth movement?”

Dvorak’s [5] name was a legendary existence in the history of music, with 9 outstanding symphonies made during his lifetime.  The 9th symphony that was the most famous across the world was named “New World Symphony”.  The Symphony in D Major however, was the 6th out of 9.

[5] Dvorak was a Czech composer.  He’s famous for his 9 Symphonies, the 9thespecially.  The 9th Symphony is known as the “From the New World” or “New World Symphony” and I would recommend looking it up on Youtube, along with the 6th Symphony. 

The 40 people who auditioned were selected by the repertoire the B City Symphony Orchestra chose: Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 6 in D Major” and “The Golden Spinning Wheel.” Originally, Zheng Weiqiao told Qi Mu to play the 4thmovement, the last part of the song, for its exciting sound.

Qi Mu curved his eyes up in a smile: “Teacher Du, if I don’t lay out the foundation, it wouldn’t set the right tone for the rest of song.  Therefore I want to start at the second movement instead.”  He gave a seemingly casual glance at to middle aged man, who was gnas.h.i.+ng his teeth in anger.  The smile on Qi Mu’s face grew wider.

Du Sheng eyed Qi Mu’s actions, and then nodded with a smile: “Okay, then start playing.”

Qi Mu politely bowed, and gently placed his violin under his chin.  He took a deep breath then lifted his long beautiful bow, sounding out a gentle note.

The start of the song had already begun to relax people, their minds slipping away into a distant fairyland.  The fluttering vibrato and the delicate ringing of the violin made them almost forget themselves.  It was like they were resting in lukewarm water, peacefully floating along.

The second movement of “Symphony No.6 in D Major” was the part most commonly known by people.  It was not as fast as the first movement, nor as lively as the third movement, and not as pa.s.sionate as the fourth movement.  But this gentle section that seemed mild and ordinary felt like it was brought to life by Qi Mu, leaving people in a tranquil state.

If the middle aged man named Lu’s performance was gentle and pleasant on a national level, then it was nothing compared to Qi Mu’s performance, which greatly surpa.s.sed the other party’s.  Even if was compared to European performances, it was second to none.

Especially the closing, with a lingering sound that made the judges feel like they would never recover from hearing the song, not to mention the other players who listened.

“I’ve finished playing, thank you for listening.”

The young person’s low and sweet voice dragged the absentminded people back from his playing. Du Sheng relaxed expression was gone as he looked solemnly at Qi Mu on the stage.

In the bright spotlight, he could see the young man’s handsome face and tall figure.  When he had just ended his performance; it seemed like there was an invisible radiance s.h.i.+ning behind the youth, not allowing people to look at him directly.

Du Sheng secretly thought: if this was the trash Old Tan often talked about… well, he’s afraid that his skill might be even worse than this tras.h.!.+

On the other side of the stage, the middle-aged man had an angry flush to his face.

There was no need for comments from the judges, the gap between him and youth was clear.  He only played the second movement from “Symphony in D Major” and Qi Mu played the entire piece, including a quick prelude.  Just from hearing Qi Mu play, people would definitely want to hear the entire song.

At the thought of this, the middle aged man was too ashamed to stay, and immediately threw himself from the room.  His back seemed panicked, as if he was rus.h.i.+ng to escape.

Qi Mu naturally spotted the middle aged man’s departure.  He gave a faint smile, but did not speak.

In the judges’ row, Mister Old Tan, the conductor of the B City Symphony Orchestra, sat in the center as he stared Qi Mu for a long time with a complex expression.  He eventually heaved a long sigh, and his fingers that had been clasped, slowly released.

Old Tan said: “Your performance was excellent.  You can come down and wait for the result.”

All the people who heard this were stunned.  Even Qi Mu was slightly surprised as he bowed politely and left.

Du Sheng stared at the back of Qi Mu’s figure as he gave a puzzled frown, whispering: “Old Tan, why did you not give Qi Mu any commentary and just let him leave?  Isn’t this… breaking the rules?”

Unexpectedly, Old Tan raised an eyebrow and asked: “Who set the rules?”

Du Sheng was dumbfounded as he replied: “You did.”

“Well, now I say that the rules have changed.”

“……”

Finefinefine, you command the orchestra, you can do whatever you want!

——

Outside the small theatre, Zheng Weiqiao had been waiting for a while.  As soon as he saw Qi Mu, he immediately tried to comfort him.  “You haven’t touched the violin for years and only had a few days to practice.  Failing is understandable, there’s no need to take it to heart.  I heard that the B City Orchestra will start recruiting next month, you can try that instead.”

Qi Mu gave Zheng Weiqiao a funny look as he listened to him.

Zheng Weiqiao took Qi Mu’s silence as his cue to continue and quickly said: “If that won’t do, there are still many of teacher’s friends in S City and we can go train there.  The S City Symphony Orchestra has many teachers who have taught before, and colleagues.  At your level, if you try once more you’ll definitely get into the 1st violins.”

In the bright suns.h.i.+ne, the youth’s black hair was illuminated with a golden glow.  The corner of Qi Mu’s lips curled up on his beautiful face as he asked confidently: “Brother Zheng, are you worried… that I failed the audition?”

Zheng Weiqiao unintentionally replied: “Didn’t you?”  He paused and thought that he shouldn’t be too direct about this.  He gently said: “I just heard a friend say that Old Tan didn’t comment on you at all and made you step down…  Don’t be too upset, Old Tan always used to watch over your mother, I’m sure he has his reasons for doing this.  Even if you fail the audition, you still have a lot of orchestras to apply to.”

Listening to Zheng Weiqiao’s words, Qi Mu’s smile grew even brighter.  He looked up and squinted into the blue sky, where the sun was s.h.i.+ning through the clouds of Phnom Penh [6].  Then he suddenly asked: “Brother Zheng.  The B City Symphony Orchestra… What kind of orchestra is it?”

[6] The capital of Cambodia, which is between Thailand and Vietnam.

Zheng Weiqiao blankly replied: “In Huaxia, it can already be considered one of the top orchestras.”

“So… What are you so worried about?”

Zheng Weiqiao frowned without understanding, only to hear Qi Mu state: “If they hadn’t picked me… then B City Orchestra wouldn’t have either.”

The youth calm and serene voice had a hint of laughter in it, but Zheng Weiqiao could only be stupefied.  He could only watch with a foolish expression as Qi Mu walked along with his violin box, only to stop and tell him to hurry up when he realized Zheng Weiqiao fell behind.

In the back of his mind, Zheng Weiqiao suddenly felt like he might have seen an illusion.

He had never seen such confidence in Qi Mu, standing as resolutely as a king.  As if he weren’t a novice from the bottoms of Huaxia’s music industry, but a giant [7] in Europe.

[7] Like he was a prominent figure.  Not celebrity, but someone who is skilled and well known.

There was a strange thought in his head–

This man should be standing on the stage of the Golden Hall, with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra as his accompaniment as he showed the world his endless charisma!  But there was no chance of such a thing happening in the world…

No!

There was one!

Back then, Min Chen made the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra his accompaniment, causing a stir in the world as he took on the t.i.tle of King of the Piano.

At the thought of this, Zheng Weiqiao felt a sudden itch in his heart.  There was a fire in his blood he hadn’t felt since he was 30.  Something was telling him to believe in the youth’s growth.  Telling him to accompany him… and see how far he could go.

In the evening of B City, the streets were congested.  The vast sky was dyed red in its sunset, as if a burning cloud swept across the city.  Many people couldn’t help but stop in admiration.

The Eastern Sun had begun to burn.

But the West was completely ignorant.

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TL Notes:

Music sheets actually dictate how you should be playing (ex: softly, faster, etc), which is why Qi Mu mentions it was quite a mistake for Lu to make.  I don’t think they’re playing with music in front of them though, but it should be memorized.  It should also be mentioned that generally, once you’ve been playing music for a while, you start to know which composers are which, what songs are what, and how this and that are played, etc etc. I thought the performers would be tuning in one room, and performing in another.  It doesn’t really specify though, so that could be the case and performers are just sitting in to listen to whoever’s turn it is.  I don’t have this sort of experience though, so who knowsss. Dvorak’s “Symphony No.6 in D Major.”  I’ve set the link to the second movement, but the violins don’t come in until around 13:04.  There’s a comment that marks where each movement starts. “The Golden Spinning Wheel” was mentioned as a part of the repertoire and is also composed by Dvorak. The West refers to “Western Countries.”


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