As any violinist who’s played excerpts from the Harry Potter soundtrack will know, Hedwig’s Theme has QUITE a few notes. ‘It’s OK! It’s just an effect’, you tell yourself, as you vaguely wave your left hand up and down the fingerboard, outlining the general shape and contour of the five billion notes in front of you. Hopefully your colleagues will do the same and together, you should factor for about 95% of the notes. It’s a team effort! It’s also the only choice you have, besides wishing you could take a swig of liquid luck before that passage, or simply apparate out of the orchestra.
Meanwhile, the cellists are sitting across the orchestra plonking down pizzicato notes on the down beats, relishing the looks of intense terror and fear in their colleagues’ eyes.
Seemingly devoid of the above drama, however, is star violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. She performs the flight of the eponymous snowy barn owl, with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the man responsible for the dots, John Williams. The performance took place in January 2020 (back when going to concerts senza masks was a thing) at the Musikverein in Vienna.