WASHINGTON - Magnus Fiennes is a music producer and composer who is Ralph Fiennes' brother. He reported the orgasm that was heard all over the world. He tweeted after attending the Los Angeles Philharmonic, in April, about a woman who was sitting next to him at Walt Disney Concert Hall and had a "loud full-body orgasm" during the second movement Tchaikovsky’s Fifth.
Some people in the audience responded on Twitter, asking if it was a medical condition that caused the moaning. The woman who was with her partner throughout the concert has yet to come forward and explain the situation.
The scream can be interpreted as a metaphor. It seems classical music is gaining in popularity.
Albert Imperato is a New York-based music promoter who says that the idea that classical music should not be relaxing and safe is gaining ground. It should tingle.
Renee Fleming, a soprano, told me: "Let's remember that the term 'climax" is a musical term." It has to do both with tension in music and its release. She said that Rachmaninoff, and Liszt "had it down" when it came to sexy music.
Norman Lebrecht is a British music critic who published 'The 10 Best Orgasm Symphonies" in his blog Slipped Disc to celebrate the scream.
Elim Chan, a 36-year old conductor, said she kept the woman in the peripheral of her vision until she calmed down. She told me she enjoys hearing the audience react loudly -- "I don't wanna be a museum piece." As children, we were enthralled by the classical music of'Fantasia' and Bugs Bunny.
She said that after the dark days of Covid, and everyone streaming at home, people were coming to concerts to "feel" something that would only exist in that period -- 'and you will miss it if you don't feel it.'
The scream brought back memories of the golden age in Hollywood when Hollywood moguls used their biggest stars, Bette Davis Joan Crawford Elizabeth Taylor Ingrid Bergman, to tell passionate stories about classical musicians. Recently, there has been a revival with Cate Blanchett's role in "Tar," Kelvin Harrison Jr.'s in "Chevalier," and the Netflix film 'Maestro' with Bradley Cooper playing Leonard Bernstein.
Recent surveys show that classical music has seen a surge in popularity in the past two years. The genre grew in popularity during the pandemic in America and England. It attracted more women and young listeners.
Ted Gioia, a music critic, mused about this on his Substack. Or, 'perhaps young people see dressing up for an opera night as a cosplay activity.
Peter Gelb agreed. He told me that the average age of the audience was in the 60s and now it is in the 40s.
He noted that the new operas of living composers, such as Terence Blanchard’s ‘Fire Shut Up In My Bones’ and ‘Champion’ and Kevin Puts’s ‘The Hours’ are very popular. Gelb stated that the Met's 'Champion', based on Emile Griffith's life as a bisexual fighter, was the first opera to feature two men kissing, or drag queens.
Gustavo Dudamel is the 42-year old curly-haired music conductor, who searches for "blood" in the music. He will be moving to New York in 2026. He said he would 'keep that wild wild animal Gustavo', giving audiences an early preview at David Geffen Hall this weekend, conducting Mahler’s Ninth.
Yannick Nezet Seguin, 48, is the conductor of the Met. He has bleached blonde hair and diamond earrings. He shakes off the conservative aura of classical music by wearing elaborate costumes that are inspired by the operas he conducts.
Keri-Lynn Wilson is a six-foot-tall glamazon, who conducts in black Armani trousersuits, with her ponytail swaying. She and her husband Peter Gelb are a power couple in classical music. Her Met debut last fall was with Shostakovich’s ‘Lady Macbeth from Mtsensk.’
She said, 'I conducted an orgasm' in the climactic scene. "Shostakovich accomplished it by sequencing a relentlessly developing and sliding trombone note in unison, with the entire orchestra pulsating in a crescendo." She claimed that Stalin had banned the piece and Shostakovich barely avoided the gulag.
Yuja Wang is a 36-year old pianist from New York who performs Rachmaninoff in stilettos and miniskirts.
Nezet Seguin told me that he believes we are entering a new golden age of our art.
He said that he did not want to accuse anyone but he believed 'institutions, and perhaps artists, forgot some aspects of art'. He also suggested 'that the connection between the artist and the audience may have been a low priority'.
He told me that he tells his orchestras to always explore love in rehearsals. Please enjoy this harmony even more. It is very similar to the idea of classical music being sexual.