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It's more than just the notes!

I was lucky enough to see the incomparable Orpheus Chamber Orchestra rehearse and perform at Carnegie Hall this past Saturday. I was expecting a great concert, but what I got was a masterclass in communication! Orpheus is a "conductorless" classical music ensemble. Each piece is led--but not dictated or driven--by a different member of the ensemble. As that member is also playing their part. They are all highly skilled professionals, of course, so you would expect them to know their music inside-out.

But they go further. Each and every one of the 27 members of Orpheus internalizes the music, and communicates it physically. And while not unusual for pop musicians, this degree of movement is not that common in the classical world. Musical instruments fuse psychically and artistically with musicians to interpret the composer's vision. The music emanates from each artist's entire being. You can see the rhythm conveyed through their bodies. Some are more physically expressive than others, but each seems to be inside the music, not so much playing it as living it. They feel each other's movement, even as they hear each other's harmonies and musical lines. Being so attuned on so many levels is the only way any ensemble could ever succeed without a conductor.

This concert tackled some pretty intricate compositions by Brahms, Mozart, Hayden, and it was a wonder to behold. To have such a high degree of trust, to be open enough to communicate that freely, was this music-lover's and communications expert's idea of s perfect evening. We should all be so connected when participating in our various "ensembles"!


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