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OT: Serious music in the styx


Sep 27, 2014
I realize this isn't remotely cycling related, but other threads dedicated to music are present, so why not.

My wife and I went to an afternoon concert this past Sunday at the next-door town of Sagamiko (one station past Takao on the Chuo Honsen). The performers were Sung-Won Yang (cello) and Enrico Pace (piano), world-class artists performing a full afternoon of Schubert (Sonata for arpeggione), Brahms (both cello sonatas), Schumann (Fantasiestucke), plus two encores by Rachmaninov and Schumann. As friends of the Hall (Sagamiko Koryu Kaikan), we paid 3,600 for tickets, and sat--with just two other people--on the very front row. The entire audience was composed of probably 50 people in a Hall with outstanding acoustics and with seats for 300.
The two performed the next night in Tokyo at Kioi Hall, a venue with 800 seats and S tickets going for 6,000. My guess, based on the reputations involved, is that the Kioi Hall concert was probably sold out.
We saw Yang earlier this year at the same venue, and if memory serves, once again last year. We have also seen Korean cellist Young Song with pianist Averam Reichert two or three times at the same Hall, with only slightly better audience attendance (Young Song is famous in Korea as the country's No. 1 cellist). The amazing thing is that these performers continuing coming back, certainly not because of the huge audiences, but--they tell us in part--because they love the acoustics (Young Song has used the hall for recording a couple of his most recent albums.) Another perk of going to these concerts is that the performers always have a get-together meal afterwards, where they interact with maybe ten people who have stayed around (1,000 yen for the meal; not worth it for the food, but for the human interest). After this last Sunday's concert, Yang asked me if my foot was healed--I had attended his past concert at Sagamiko with my foot bandaged due to a toe infection--and I almost fell over. *I* didn't even remember that I had gone to his last concert in that condition, but he remembered.
The point is that people in the City often don't know what they're missing by ignoring what goes on in the sticks (at least, in some sticks). You can sit on the front row and hear the final shimmering note as it hangs there for an eternity, and you almost hate to start clapping because it disturbs that infinite fade-out. The sound is that good.
Now, to give this thread a minimum of cycling relatedness, the road (Hwy 20, Koshukaido) over Mt. Takao from Hachioji to Sagamiko is probably twenty km or so, with moderate hill climbing. Pavement is kind of rough in spots and with fairly heavy traffic on holiday weekends, but doable (on normal weekends in good weather we frequently see varied numbers of cycling club members pass our house in Fujino, and I assume they got there over that road). So if you're a cyclist with a yen for serious music, you might combine the two--with the added attraction of several onsen in the Fujino area. (Well, that last part might not be doable due to the distance/time, unless you carried your bikes home.)
The next upcoming event of this genre is the Berlin Phil's "virtuosos" string quintet on Nov 29. Tickets are more expensive, 5,000Y (4,500 for friends of the hall), but that's still cheap compared to what you'd pay in central Tokyo (Nov 26 at Kioi Hall, tickets 8,000Y).
FMI: https://twitter.com/HallSagamiko/status/505265511106482176
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