Faced with having to kiss Stresemann, Nodame punches and knocks him out instead. She then notices the urtext that he was carrying around and remembers that today was supposed to be the rehearsal for his orchestra. In fact, the students have already grown restless and several are ready to leave because Stresemann doesn’t appear to be coming. The orchestra is only kept together when Nodame shows up with Chiaki in tow because he can conduct the rehearsal. They’re supposed to be playing Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, and by chance, Chiaki had just finished studying Vieira’s recording of it. Since Chiaki feels that he can do it, Mine rallies the group to practice under him. Chiaki is shocked to find out that Mine is the concertmaster, but the bigger shock comes when he realizes that everyone is horrible. In other words, it would seem as if Stresemann gathered a group of the most unskilled musicians in the school.
After the first practice run through the piece, Mine suggests that they do something grander. Chiaki can’t believe Mine wants something like that when he made so many mistakes. And it wasn’t just Mine – Chiaki proceeds to point out the mistakes of everyone in the orchestra. During all this, Nodame had dragged Stresemann’s body from the dean’s office over to the auditorium. She comments on how Chiaki’s has good ears, but when she looks over at Stresemann, she sees that he’s woken up and is now watching Chiaki too intently to respond. The other girls in the orchestra also find Chiaki impressive, but this causes the guys start resenting him. Two of them plan to play the wrong part so that they can make Chiaki look bad after practice is over because they don’t think Chiaki will notice. Their plan doesn’t work because Chiaki notices immediately. He continues yelling at each of the orchestra members when they screw up, but the sound just gets worse and worse. Right as Chiaki is about to reach his limit because no one seems to be listening to him, Stresemann appears on-stage and relieves Chiaki of his duty.
Stresemann says that Chiaki is disqualified from doing this because he made a girl in the orchestra cry, and Stresemann is now ready to lead the rehearsal himself. He uses kind words towards each of the musicians that Chiaki yelled at in order to make them all feel better, and then tells the orchestra to go through the piece one more time, just like Chiaki had told them to. With Stresemann conducting, Chiaki feels that the orchestra is still horrible, but their sound comes to life because of him. Chiaki begins to realize that Stresemann pays special loving attention to each sound and to each musician – this is a true maestro. Inspired, Chiaki later renews his efforts to get transferred, but Stresemann once again tears up the request. He suggests that instead of transferring departments, Chiaki should continue with the piano and spend the rest of his time with the maestro. His lecherous tendencies still remain though: he wants to go to Shibuya because he feels that he can get girls with Chiaki around. Nodame bursts in at this point because she’s unwilling to hand Chiaki over to him, and she ends up knocking out Stresemann once again when he hugs both her and Chiaki. In retrospect, Chiaki recalls that he never imagined that that rehearsal would completely change his life.
I’ve got to say that I’m a little surprised and impressed that they managed to extend one chapter to fill an entire episode without adding something extra. I guess you could say that they spent a lot more time focused on the music (Beethoven’s 7th), which filled enough time so that they could pull this off. To my untrained ear though, I can’t say that I could tell what was good and what was bad in the music, or if they even made such a distinction. At least none of it sounded horrible to me.
Next week is the introduction of Mamiko Noto’s character!