TwoSet Violin Takes Classical Music Education Virtual with World Tour
Classical violinists turned YouTubers Brett Yang and Eddy Chen (aka TwoSet Violin) collaborated with the virtual platform Moment House to broadcast a world tour virtually on December 28.
The concert fused classical music education with comedy, which is the TwoSet brand and is the same thing they gained notoriety for in their YouTube channel. The story of the concert focuses around classical music disappearing and leaving only two-chord pop music (oh no!) and in order to save it, Brett and Eddy have to travel back in time by drinking super scientific bubble tea to find the four sacred stones of classical music (baroque, classical, romantic, and 20th century).
Brett is first up, where he travels back to 1717 Weimar and runs into an incarcerated J.S. Bach, who explains what a Fugue is and composes a fugue for solo violin for Brett to play. After slaying the Fuga from Violin Sonata no 2 in A minor, he gets the Baroque stone from Bach and we see how the story is going to play out.
Next up is Eddy, who finds himself tasked with getting the Classical stone from Mozart in 1775 Salzburg. In order to earn the stone, he has to fill in for W.A. Mozart himself and perform his Violin Concerto No 5 (K.219) because the tiny little classical troll himself has a date with a pretty lady and is far too busy to do things like perform a violin concerto, or even be bothered to write a cadenza for it. Of course, Eddy takes the stage in place of Mozart at the concert and performs the concerto to the composer's satisfaction, and is given the Classical stone for his troubles.
In 1879 Clarens, composer Tchaikovsky finds himself to be smitten by new composition student Brett after listening to him play his Melodie on violin. This leads to possibly the most memorable performance of the concert: the second movement of Tchaikovsky's violin concerto performed tandem (aka "2 boys, one violin" style) with Brett holding the violin and responsible for the fingerings, and Eddy manning the bow. Of course, Tchaikovsky awards him with the romantic stone and Brett reassures him that in the future, everyone is accepted for who they are, despite their sexuality.
After each segment, facts about the composer and the story that was mentioned are shown, akin to an epilogue at the end of a historical fiction film. This makes it not only interesting but adds even more classical music education, which is TwoSet's mission (to advocate classical music education and make it relevant to the new generation.
Staying with Russian composers, Eddy travels to 1948 St. Petersburg and meets up with Shostakovich, who informs him the state is censoring his art and he has taken work composing film scores. Eddy offers to play the cadenza from his violin concerto no 1 in A minor, one of the only privately composed pieces of modern music from the Soviet Union during that time, but not published or performed until after Stalin's death. Pleased to hear it performed, Shostakovich hands over the 20th century stone.
And with that, the stones are reunited….for Eddy to turn evil and destroy them, destroying classical music once and for all! Oh no! No more having to practice and still not be as good as prodigies – now it's all two chords and instant fame. Brett, disgusted with this, decides to use the final bubble tea and live in the past, where at least he can be free to play classical music.
After getting some wise advice from Beethoven, Brett decides he gave up on Eddy when he needed him most and he has to find a way back to save Eddy from the lure of easy pop music. Meanwhile, back in 2021, Eddy is playing a very lackluster rendition of Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal, complete with disco lights and flashy moves when he has a revelation and gets remorseful for selling out and destroying classical music.
Lucky for Eddy (and classical music) they forgot about the fifth stone: the Ling Ling stone, guarded by the devil's violinist himself: Paganini. Eddy calls Brett, who is conveniently in the past, and able to go to Italy and confront Paganini in an epic showdown for the stone. This is another standout performance with the duo and accompanist ( sorry, collaborative pianist) Wei-Ting Hsieh playing an arrangement of Paganini's 24th Caprice (naturally) for two violins and piano by Jordan He. They defeat the devil's violinist and get the Ling Ling stone back to the present, restoring Classical music – the day is saved! But, in an ending clip titled "2022", Brett and Eddy's partnership may be in trouble once again.
Aside from some pre-recorded segments that utilized green screen, the concert was live with a quick chat interaction before and after the show, and every show was performed live for each of the three concerts (North and South America, Europe, and Africa, and Asia, Australia, and New Zealand). Moment House gave the opportunity for a 72-hour replay as well as chat rooms to communicate with other fans watching, which is perfect for the TwoSet fan community.
The "moment" has ended and the world tour is over, though it might be able to be released to own at some point since it was filmed and broadcast already. Twoset Violin channel can be found on YouTube and their apparel (including world tour merch) at twosetapparel.com.