They may be stuck at home during lockdown but that didn't stop musicians from the National Orchestra of France putting on a powerful orchestral piece for viewers around the world.

Montage of musicians from the National Orchestra of France
Musicians from the National Orchestra of France perform Ravel's Bolero ©France Musique

They usually perform in the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris but as France remains under lockdown, musicians from the National Orchestra of France (ONF) have come up with a creative way to play together, and to entertain viewers. On Monday, 51 members of the orchestra took to YouTube to perform Ravel's "Bolero" while practising social distancing. Each musician recorded their own piece separately from home and the performances were then compiled and edited into a one stirring montage by the radio network France Musique

"In the delicate period we are going through, the musicians of the National Orchestra of France wanted, despite the distance, to play together to offer and share with each one what they know how to do best: music," the orchestra said in a statement. "Hoping that these universal notes from Ravel will bring you warmth and comfort."

According to the Associated Press, the musicians were sent an audio track of a previous recording of the performance to listen through headphones while they played. The audio included a metronome to help the musicians keep time, despite working from different locations. Composer Didier Benetti reduced the 15-minute arrangement down to a tight and social-media friendly four-minute version.

Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest

Elsewhere, musicians from the San Antonio Symphony in Texas put on a similar social distancing performance, led by trombonist Steve Peterson, of Elgar’s "Nimrod from Enigma". While in the Netherlands, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra came together online to perform Beethoven's "Ode to Joy". And not to be outdone, in Italy, the International Opera Choir performed “Va pensiero” by Giuseppe Verdi for online viewers, one of the country's most famous opera songs.

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