The New York Philharmonic was conducting a rendition of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
If you are not familiar with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony it’s a tremendous piece of work, but the bass line is atrocious. Not because it is complicated, but because it goes like this:
And then approximately an hour an a half later it goes like this:
And then there’s a round of applause and everyone take their bows and and exits stage right. The conductor had a great idea though, and the basses practiced this in the weeks leading up to the concert. The would play their first note
And then they would quietly lay down their basses on provided carpets, and exit the stage – waiting patiently to return an hour and a half later to play their final note:
The night of the concert arrives, everyone is dressed to the nines (as is appropriate of course). The basses are shined and everyone is relaxed and ready. The conducter taps on his conducter’s stand to get attention, raises his hands and with a gallant downstroke the basses play the ever living shit out of their note
And then quietly lay down their instruments on the provided carpets and step behind the curtain. This is where things go awry,
“Hey guys,” says the lead bass “I have a great idea. There’s a bar across the street and we have at least an hour and a half before we play our next note. Let’s slip across and have a couple pints!”
Everyone thinks this is a fantastic idea, so the entire section hops along to the bar and downs a couple pints. One of the second basses after a while gets a little conserned and asks the lead bass if it was time to go back. “No, we got time. See, I tied a string to the last page of the conductors score attached to a transciever. When he gets to that section I’ll get a buzz on my phone and we can head back.”
Everyone thinks that this is brilliant so they knock back a few more pints before suddenly the lead bass stands up and announces it’s time to go. They bounce back across the street, through the musicians entrance, and up to the curtain to peek through and sure enough, they’re right on time. So they slip through, pick up their instruments and look up at the conductor and…he is angry.
Ready to bust a blood vessel angry.
But you would be too wouldn’t you? It was the bottom of the ninth, the basses were loaded, and the score was tied.
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