Some moments are the stuff of comedy routines. This is a scene from a recent rehearsal, exactly as it happened. The conductor was European, the orchestra of British descent.
"Does anyone have a rubber?" the maestro asked the orchestra, pencil in hand.
A titter passed among the musicians. Realizing his double-entendre, the conductor turned crimson, ruffling his hair in an embarrassed gesture.
The principal violist located a large white eraser and handed it over. The conductor rubbed out an old pencil marking, then returned the eraser. A quip was made about sharing a rubber, getting it back used.
A minute later, the eraser was borrowed again, and again returned.
The next time an eraser was needed, the principal violist gave the conductor a small, flat, white packet with serrated edges and a distinct shape inside. A surprised chuckle escaped the orchestra. The maestro shook his head, laughed, and held it up for all to see. He hesitated – and then, in one decisive motion, pocketed the package.
The joke was complete. Rehearsal continued as usual.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Maestro Has a Request
One of my favorite violinists, Hilary Hahn, recounted this event on her website some time ago. I was recently reminded of it again and thought my readers would enjoy it.