SARASOTA, Fla.—”Music is like praying twice,” said Edward Lavallee, city manager of Venice, Fla. He was moved by the heavenly sounds of the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra that filled the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Oct. 27.
Both Mr. Lavallee and his wife, Sharon, were touched by the orchestra’s program. They were likely picking up on a characteristic of traditional Chinese music—emphasizing the expression of inner feeling through instrumentation.
“The music is beautiful. The timing is beautiful, vivid, exciting and lots of emotions,” Mr. Lavallee said.
His wife agreed: “I laughed. I cried. Beautiful, beautiful music.”
The Shen Yun website states, “Behind all of Shen Yun’s music lies the belief that, like many enduring traditions, both classical Western, and Chinese music are truly divine gifts.”
“I believe it is from the deities—one of the songs is from the deities,” Mr. Lavallee said, referring to a piece titled “Grand Descent of the Deities.”
“It’s soul-inspiring. It raises your faith. And it just brings a sense of artistic value to your life that is unmatched,” he said.
Other original works performed by the New York-based Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra included “The Warriors of Wudang Mountain” and “The Steadfast Lotus,” while the program also paid tribute to classics from the West, such as Devorak’s “Carnival Overture Op. 92.”
Mr. Lavallee said the ancient Chinese instruments such as the pipa and erhu were beautiful compliments to the contemporary instruments.
While listening to the orchestra, he imagined the Old World while Ms. Lavallee said images of oceans and forests arose in her mind.
“It is a realm of experience that only comes from music,” Mr. Lavallee said.
This was the last performance of the Shen Yun Orchestra’s 2014 tour. Shen Yun will return to Florida with a full orchestra and dance program in Fort Lauderdale, Dec. 26–28, followed by Sarasota and Gainesville.
Reporting by Edie Bassen and Adam Miller
New York-based Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra comprises musicians from the four Shen Yun Performing Arts touring companies. Shen Yun begins its 2015 world tour on Dec. 26, 2014. For information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time.