I recently watched an orchestra at the Lincoln Center in New York interpret a Mozart symphony.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born in Salzburg, Austria in 1756, created masterful works categorized variously from sonata to ballet, symphony to wind ensemble, chamber music to keyboard, and more, though not fairly reviewed in but a blog as this. Understated, his works are considered masterpieces even today. Complex. Challenging. Multi-spectral. And a wee bit more intellectual than some of my favorite Van Halen with David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar.
Symphony is of Greek derivation built with two different words: together and sound or sounding. Interesting isn't it? Together, sound.
I watched this performance composed of reading music, hearing sound, seeing the pianist and conductor, reacting and evolving with a predictable cadence, together. Sounding. Together sounding.
On this particular eve, there was a guest pianist placed close to the audience, the conductor immediately behind, and the orchestra itself behind the maestro. Of interest to me was the fact that the guest pianist led the maestro, while the maestro led the orchestra. An interplay. Live. Real-time. Beautiful. I was the customer of this experience.
watched intently as the maestro continued to listen and watch the pianist while he led the orchestra. Whether the pianist paused, evolved a crescendo or decrescendo, alternated themes or moods, the maestro interpreted the output and led the orchestra in such a way as to compliment and supplement the pianist accordingly. Interesting enough.
Then I watched individual musicians reading their music, interpreting the music in front of them in context of the other written parts 1st, 2nd, 3rd and perhaps 4th within their instrument type, playing as but one individual and yet all the while balancing each contribution in context of what they see, hear and feel from the pianist, the maestro, the instrument group, as a whole.
And again, circular, I watched as the pianist interpreted and performed music from his memory outwardly manifested by his physical choices on the keyboard contextual to his environment. The pianist heard the orchestral interpretation of his own interpretation and gave an infrequent glint of attention to the maestro -- silently speaking with each other through the experience. Mozart vicariously on stage for me.
Beautiful music. I enjoyed my time. I became part of the experience. Remember, I was the customer. I was not stressed or anxious. I worried for nothing but perhaps I might miss a single note somewhere that contributed to a good experience.
An example of a team. An example of a goal. An example of keeping the customer in mind.
The customer left happy, content, yet wanting for more.