|The Philharmonics members perform at the Yellow Lounge concert at Club Octagon in southern Seoul on Oct. 3. (Universal Music)|
Classical music forayed into one of Seoul’s trendiest nightspots Thursday, as the Yellow Lounge project invited The Philharmonics ensemble and DJ Pascal Dior to present their interpretations of classical music at Club Octagon in southern Seoul.
The Philharmonics, consisting of members of the Berlin and Vienna philharmonic orchestras, played refined, but reworked scores.
Under the bluish and pink lighting with flamboyant LED displays as the backdrop, the ensemble gave a modern and somewhat Jewish-Central European twist to some well-known pieces. Kreisler’s “Schoen Rosmarin” was reworked into a minor key with the contrabass taking the leading tune, while Schostakovich’s Waltz in C-minor from the 2nd Jazz Suite was made cozier and more laid back.
From time to time the size of the hall didn’t seem to suit the sound of the strings, and some people in the back or at the back row of the second floor had to strain their ears to listen to the music. But overall, people paid careful attention to every note they played.
The musicians’ efforts were rewarded by the “Sicilians of Asia” ― as the ensemble front man Tibor Kovac put it ― giving thunderous cheers, laud and applaud.
There were a few glitches. Dior, who is hailed as one of the best DJs in the country, seemed to have been intimidated by having to deal with rather unfamiliar territory. And as his spin got conservative, the audience merely regarded his performance as a supporting act for The Philharmonics.
The organizers’ renting the venue for a short period of time also prevented a curtain call or an encore. Fortunately, Universal Music will give those in the audience second and third chances to check out the project on Oct. 31 and Nov. 12.
By Bae Ji-sook (email@example.com)