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Orchestral Trials, Tribulations And Homesickness

Orchestral Trials, Tribulations And Homesickness

             Thai cellist Tapalin Charoensook bowed to enthusiastic applause following her performance of Far from Home, heart lifted. She sees the appreciation of the audience as reward for her hard work.


            “I wanted to play more songs to please the audience,” Ms Tapalin, 26, told Elite+ after the performance. “But my energy had run out. I gave all I had in 20 minutes of playing. I feel this is the highlight of my career every time I hear the applause. I love when I practise hard for months or even a year just to play a 20-minute piece, and the audience gives me a positive response like this. It’s like our hard work is being recognized and rewarded.”


            The concert with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra (TPO) was held at the Music Auditorium at Mahidol University’s College of Music in August. Ms Tapalin and some 75 musicians of the TPO had practised for months. But the significance of the concert was not in its demonstration of practice or musicianship; it was about the collaboration between musicians and composer and the complex art of interpreting the music.


            Far from Home was composed by Narong Prangcharoen for solo cello. When Ms Tapalin and the TPO expressed a wish to play the song for a concert, the musicians and composer agreed the piece had to be readapted for orchestra. Mr Narong, who works and lives in the US when not globetrotting for performances and concerts, had to discuss with Ms Tapalin by Facebook, email and phone how the music would be played and how she understood and felt about it.


            “Classical music is good in that it lets listeners interpret,” said Ms Tapalin, known as Zoy to family and friends. “There is no caption to tell people what to think. It’s hard to explain how you feel or should feel about music. I just know that you shouldn’t be confined or dictate to yourself how to feel towards any work of art. After all, feelings shouldn’t be premeditated and must be spontaneous.”