“Does anyone have free time this Thursday?” a friend of mine said. I was having lunch with some of my friends at a cafeteria after a Tai Chi practice last Tuesday. I did not know what she was going to bring up, but I rummaged through my bag and took out my schedule book. An event had been redlined in the box of the Thursday on the calendar.
“I have time. So…?” I looked up from my schedule and saw her. This time, it was her turn to rummage through her bag. She took out an envelope and drew a few small cards from it. And then, she put them on the table.
“What are they?”
“Tickets for a concert.”
When I picked one of them, she put another thing on the table. It was a flyer of the concert with the program and a picture of a lovely girl. It seemed to be a piano recital.
“Aren’t you going to the concert?”
“Oh, I am. But I still have extra tickets. Why don’t you go to the concert with your friends? I’ll give you the tickets,” she said and handed me the rest of the tickets and flyers.
She gave me four tickets. I decided to go to the concert with my 82-year-old mother and give the rest to my friends.
The concert was held at Munetsugu Hall in Sakae, Nagoya. Munetsugu Hall is a concert hall for only classical music. Tokuji Munetsugu, the founder of a curry restaurant chain, “Curry House CoCo Ichibanya,” established the concert hall in 2007 to have people enjoy classical music more easily and develop younger artists. They offer a concert at lunchtime (11:30 – 12:30) almost every day for only 1,000 yen. This piano recital was one of the lunchtime concerts.
The concert was entitled: The Way to the Ocean ~ A Fresh Stream ~ “Classical Music for June.” Risa Okubo, the pianist, explained the meaning in the opening. Young musicians from Gifu Prefecture have had concerts under the same title, and this time was the eighth. Gifu is a water-rich area with many rivers. These young artists portray themselves as fresh streams and the ocean as the world. That is, they express their ambitions of becoming worldwide musicians. Besides, they introduce music relating to water. That was why the pianist played these numbers:
1. Prelude Op. 28, No. 15 in D-flat major “Raindrops” by Chopin
2. The Seasons, June “Barcarolle” by Tchaikovsky
3. “Auf dem Wasser zu singen (To be Sung on the Water)” by Schubert (transcribed by Liszt)
4. “Die Forelle (The Trout)” by Schubert (transcribed by Liszt)
5. “Ondine” from “Gaspard de la Nuit (Gaspard of the Night) by Ravel
6. Ballade No.3 in A-flat major, Op.47 by Chopin
7. Sonata in D minor K.213 / L.108 by Scarlatti
8. “Isolde’s Liebestod (Love-Death)” by Wagner (transcribed by Liszt)
Actually, I don’t listen to classical music so much. But the concert was very nice and my mother and I had a wonderful time. I met a friend of mine to whom I had given the rest of the tickets at the hall. She came there with her friend, and they were also very pleased to have a great time. It is a good idea to drop by Munetsugu Hall at lunchtime and enjoy classical music once in a while. Classical music has a healing power. Nagoya’s summer is hot and humid. Why don’t you have an elegant time in the cool concert hall sometimes? You’ll feel refreshed when you leave the hall.