As far back as I can remember, music has been important to me in a way difficult to describe in words. No wonder I became a professional musician! It can be so very powerful and truly affect you or your mood or thoughts. And there are certain people out there who KNOW. So when they play, the world around them stops, and there is only music.
Yo-Yo Ma is one of those people. Tonight easily goes to the top of my most rewarding musical experiences. Not only is he charismatic and generous, he also is an AMAZING musician. He came on stage joking and laughing, and filled the hall with an aura of happiness. I think I can safely speak for the entire LSO when I say that every single one of us was happy to be there, playing Elgar. I truly feel honored to have played with him tonight.
What really blew me away (besides his tone, articulation, intonation, emotional output, and overall musicianship), was the way he made chamber music out of this concerto. Instead of being a soloist, and having the orchestra accompany him, he knew every line of every instrument. Whenever the violas shared a line with the solo cello, Yo-Yo would look at me and smile or emote with his eyebrows. It was just phenomenal. I literally felt like I was playing a blown-up quartet with him.
It was phenomenal. I am on a musical high. And I think for once in my life, I enjoyed the sound of a cello more than that of a (well-played) viola.
When I practice tomorrow, I'm going to emulate Yo-Yo.
Happy (and emotional!) practicing!