It is difficult, as a Classical music buff, to describe the concerts I attend. There is no show, no spectacle for me to write about; only sound, silence, and applause. Intangibilities are of no interest to the lay reader.
Yet somehow, a certain magic binds this non-existence. It begins with the lights, from the off-whiteness of the subway to the intense pale-yellow of the auditorium. A blink of the eye and it dims, fading to black. The conductor enters. He nods to the concertmaster—a single pitch fills the hall, rolls over, and vanishes again. People cough.
The highlight of the evening is James Ehnes with the Tchaikovsky violin concerto. He takes the stage to fevered applause, tunes, and waits for his cue. The music starts. Ehnes lifts his fiddle. A solo violin is heard: gentle, nostalgic, and heartbreaking in its beauty. It is a sound felt by the soul.
The magic of the concert hall comes from hearing, yes, but also from being. It brings out something within by blocking off the outside. There are no distractions in the concert hall, nothing to smell, see, or touch. Sound becomes an isolated sense. Only two things exist: the music and the mind.
In the pitch-darkness of the auditorium, we do not hear music. We listen to it.