Through social media, I recently discovered, entered, and of course lost myself in the “rabbit hole” of the YouTube channel of “TwoSet Violin“, run by two Australian violinists that just go by Brett and Eddy. As a result, I listened to an unexpected amount of violin music!
When they hit 4 million subscribers to their channel (of which I’m one of now), they celebrated this with a concert, at the Victoria Concert Hall in Singapore. They’re YouTubers, so of course they sell merch and have their fans and inside jokes and all that is part of the show. Here’s that concert. There’s a comment in there, with time indices in case you want to jump straight to the music.
In another video, which just extracts Eddy’s performance of Paganini’s “La Campanella” (in the video above, it starts here), one commenter remarked that is was not a good rendition of the piece — which was maybe somewhat audible, even to a violin layman like me, but then again, it also seems pretty clear to me that it is a demanding piece (here’s what I think is a nice rendition, by Stefan Milenkovich: La Campanella) so I have nothing but respect for Eddy to put himself out there, in front of all the people and with an entire orchestra, and give it his best shot.
Other commenters remarked that they were irritated by the audience’s giggle when the bell and violin sounds combine, stating that this is the whole point of the piece (“La Campanella” means “The Little Bell”). Someone please explain to me how it’s a bad thing if “the whole point of the piece” fills an audience that is probably new to the piece with delight and makes them giggle. Sigh. Snobs will be snobs.
But all that aside, my main point is how remarkable I find it that two geeky, funny, violin-loving musicians-turned-YouTubers manage to fill a concert hall in Sinagpore — with an audience of young people, some of them who flew in from Taiwan or Germany. I think that’s a fantastic achievement in the service of music.
With their YouTube channel, these two guys have put attention to classical music, made me aware of the intricacies of playing the violin (seems DAMN hard!), put me in awe of some of the young talent that’s out there*, and made me appreciate the performances of experienced violin players. Kudos to TwoSet Violin.
*) I’ll leave that discovery up to readers of this post themselves and deny any responsibility for others getting lost in internet rabbit holes!