Music

Musicians create living room concerts in response to coronavirus social distancing


The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra started the trend with a virtual performance of Beethoven’s symphony ‘Ode to joy’

Sunday, 29th March 2020, 10:59 pm

Updated Sunday, 29th March 2020, 10:59 pm
The Brighouse and Rastrick Band have moved their concerts inside following the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Orchestras and bands around the world have used modern technology to come together in spite of social distancing to create concerts that can be enjoyed from home. 

The Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band from the West Ridings of Yorkshire recreated its hit signature tune ‘The Floral Dance’ as a ‘living room concert’, with players filming themselves performing from home. The clips were then edited by percussionist Jonathan Kenna to create the virtual performance.

Natalie Morrison, who coordinated the project and plays cornet in the band, said: “We absolutely loved making the video and are so pleased to see how it has lifted the spirits of people already.

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“It took a lot of hard work to put together, in particular from Jonathan. As a member of the police force he is a key worker and has managed to fit in many hours of editing alongside his currently very demanding job.”

“We are now excited about the next stage of the project — to get the whole community involved as they get the chance to play, sing, dance or clap along to our video.”

 Virtual pioneers

The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra were one of the pioneers of the trend when they recorded nineteen musicians playing their individual parts on Beethoven’s symphony ‘Ode to Joy’.

Each part was then added to an audio mix along with an archival recording of the final choir segment, with the subsequent video going viral online. 

Beethoven’s music has been performed in a new way during social distancing (Photo by Rischgitz/Getty Images)

The recording has had over 1.8 million views on YouTube and a post on Twitter of the performance received more than 23,000 likes.

One YouTube user thanked the musicians and said “as an ER physician dealing with the repercussions of this global tragedy, it is beautiful to have reminders of why we are putting our lives at risk every day.” Another said “This makes me feel quite emotional. In these tough times we need to stay positive and this is exactly what we needed.”

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 was originally written and composed in the early 1820s before being first performed in Vienna on 7 May 1824. It represents a triumph of humanity over war and desperation and its words were taken from the 1785 poem ‘Ode to Joy’ by Friedrich Schiller.



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