I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend a Saito Kinen Festival rehearsal.
I was absolutely delighted as a musician to watch how Seiji Ozawa worked with the orchestra. I also appreciated the way he could draw and control the sound produced like he were playing all the Orchestra as instruments himself.
Some praised their performance, while others said that their performance was not good at all, as the musicians only come together here for a month or so.
However, overall, I was simply overwhelmed by their performance.
It was my first time to see Seiji Ozawa conducting live. Something I have craved since I was young when I attended a school just outside of the Matsumoto area; so being ineligible to be involved in school level workshops:-(
The strings section, sometimes powerful and sometimes whispering, as Mr Ozawa seemed to brilliantly include even silence as part of the music. And as the orchestra played the music strongly, gently, fluently and using almost any other expression you could think of .when the music finished, I held my breath for a while lest the sound of breathing may wreck the music!
During the short break, Mr Ozawa would go to individual musicians to precisely instruct them.
The rehearsal lasted for close to 2 hours, but Mr Ozawa showed no sign of tiredness (he’d had hernia this spring), but seemed to have enjoyed conducting.
Later that day I happened to watch the concert live on TV, and was surprised to see that Mr Ozawa didn’t have a music score at all.
I would say that anyone who has interest in classical music, (who has got the money!,) and opportunity should seriously consider coming to see the Saito Kinen Festival!