A concertgoer fell asleep during Stravinsky’s The Firebird and woke up with a giant shriek

21 May 2021, 17:06 | Updated: 21 May 2021, 17:07

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

The best way to wake up when you’re flagging on a Friday night? The ppp to fff transition in The Firebird...

Here’s the wonderful moment an orchestra and their conductor did their best to hold it together, while an audience member lost their mind over a sudden fortissimo entry in Stravinsky’s great work The Firebird.

The fourth movement, ‘Round Dance of the Princesses’, concludes with an enigmatic pianissimo moment – which is starkly contrasted a moment later by an abrupt flash from the orchestra and timpani drum, cueing in the ‘Infernal Dance of all Kashchei’s Subjects’.

The North State Symphony Orchestra had perfected this great moment of musical juxtaposition for their concert, back in November 2017.

So much so, that a woman in the audience jumped out of her seat in fright and became the night’s unexpected soprano soloist.

Listen above, and enjoy conductor Scott Seaton’s grin as he powers on through.

Read more: Orchestra pranks their conductor on his birthday in the BEST way

Trying to keep it together...
Trying to keep it together... Picture: Scott Seaton/YouTube

There’s a lesson never to take a nap during Stravinsky.

The Firebird was the Russian composer’s first ballet score, written in 1910 for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes company. It also turned into his first major success and led to further collaborations with Diaghilev to produce works like The Rite of Spring.

Let’s just relive that moment one more time, as the timpani drum comes crashing in and drags an assuming audience member out of her pianissimo-induced slumber…

One YouTuber user commented: “Did somebody just say ‘shh!’ after the scream?”

Playing it back – yes, it seems they did. Now live concerts are coming back, we look forward to more moments like these, where orchestra, conductor and audience connect over the music in one spontaneous, giddy moment – together.

Find more videos from North State Symphony on YouTube.