Foto: Photo: Kevin Ochoa

TROMSØ BYORKESTER Concert at the Arctic Cathedral

Once more, the wondrous Arctic Cathedral of Tromsø has hosted a stunning performance and delighted the audience with a transcendent surrounding sound.

Text: Kevin Ochoa, Edited by: Nikolai Shulgin


This time it was the amateur “Tromsø byorkester”, conducted by Maria Medby Tollefsen, which performed a high-quality concert that caught the attention of a truly broad audience. All of us attended the event due to the appealing repertoire, but the excellent venue and last but not least the great musicians made the evening go beyond our expectations.

Photo: Kevin Ochoa
Photo: Kevin Ochoa

People of different nationalities and ages gathered in that gorgeous place to close their eyes and let their senses enjoy the music composed by Aaron Copland, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Ludwig van Beethoven. From the youngest unexperienced student to the eldest passionate attendant, we all interpreted each piece in a particular way, and average listener got a very good impression from the concert.

Photo: Kevin Ochoa
Photo: Kevin Ochoa

The concert began with Fanfare for the Common Man, by Aaron Copland, which was performed in a quite original way. Most brass instruments were placed on both sides inside the cathedral  to  immerse the audience in a medieval-like atmosphere while the drums took great care of leading the rhythm in the front. The passionate conductress was therefore unavoidably turning back and forth to make sure that both groups were coordinated.

After that, the whole orchestra gathered in the front to play the next two pieces. The violins, violas, cellos, double bass, one harp and piano represented the string family, whereas transverse flutes, the tuba, French horns, trombones, trumpets, bassoons, oboes and clarinets represented woodwind instruments and diverse drum sets stayed at the back of the stage.

Photo: Kevin Ochoa
Photo: Kevin Ochoa

Norfolk Rhapsody no.1, by Ralph Vaughan Williams, was performed before the pause. The progressive involvement of diverse musical instruments accompanied such instruments as the violin, viola, piano and clarinet, towards a fluctuant wave between suspense and peaceful relaxation ended by a vanishing melody colored by the rumors of smooth and delicate pizzicatos.

Last but not least, Symphony no. 3 (Eroica), by Ludwig van Beethoven finished the magical event. The piece was constantly changing from a powerful at times to a playful, delicate and smooth melody led by the. In addition, one could appreciate every now and again some interesting dialogues between the violins and other instruments such as the transverse flute or the cellos.

It is really difficult to find the words to describe such a majestic piece of art, so that anyone who wants to get the idea of Beethoven’s 3rd symphony would fully understand.

Now I would like to share the story that I came up with while I was listening to it:

“Two cheerful, carefree kids used to play together, but one day they were separated by one of their families because the latter decided to move far away. After not seeing each other for decades, they meet again and they almost burst with joy. They resume their friendship and often recall all the adventures they had had together when they were young.

In their 80’s, one of them dies and it breaks the heart of his beloved friend who decides to start writing a book. He commits to this project days and nights and writes down all the stories that happened to him and his friend) before ages erase them from his vulnerable memory. Recalling those events makes him go through a terrible mourning as he rekindles all those adventures, this time in the lonely company of a waning candle. He screams, cries, laughs and experiences a lot of emotions until he eventually finishes the book.

Photo: Kevin Ochoa
Photo: Kevin Ochoa

However, all these efforts take a toll on him and he falls ill. He comes down with a high fever, and sees  the death of his friend in his dreams, and plunges in grief even more. He spends his last days suffering until he eventually dies. He has finally found peace and meets his friend again.

The book he wrote remains as an evidence of what true friendship is and how it changes lives of those who read it. This book is more than just words.  Each page is full of feelings, and any reader who devotes his time to reading it carefully may be rewarded with numerous moments that these two real friends had once. Moreover, whenever one reads his story, one analyzes one’s own relationships and probably changes one’s own perceptions of true friendship.

The reason why this book is so powerful is because it is somewhat connected to the souls of these two friends. This book helps people to realize what real friendship is and to push away any other fake relationships from their lives.

As these two friends from my story still enrich people’s lives, so does Beethoven. The music he composed during his life of devotion, effort and passion for music still has an influence nowadays on those who find the time to listen, contemplate and appreciate it.

This is also applicable to all of us and our particular life stories because all that is done during life with devotion, effort and passion has an influence on those around us and the ones coming later

The conductress Maria Medby Tollefsen claimed: “We have worked a lot on this piece. It really is both a technical and emotional challenge to play Beethoven´s symphony because his music is so intense. We are eager to display this magnificent musical work”.

Well, their effort was noticeable and they certainly succeeded in this challenge. They had a considerable positive influence on all of us, listeners.

To sum up, I would like to say that classical music is incredibly enriching and promotes imaginative thinking. So if you also want to let your imagination fly and feed your brain with rich musical culture, I highly recommend you to attend the next concert of “Tromsø Byorkester” on the 28th of May (28.05.2016) when students from the conservatory will perform a soloists’ concert at Sparebankens Festsal.