We apologize for the delay, but there is an issue with the music

Raymond Chen

After the opening work of the Seattle Symphony concert last Saturday night, the orchestra members rearranged themselves to play the Foote, but conductor Gerard Schwarz didn’t come out onto the stage. The delay grew and people started wondering what was going on.

An announcement was made over the public address system: “We apologize for the delay, but there is an issue with the music.”

This only created more confusion. What does “an issue with the music” mean?

Eventually, Schwarz took the podium and explained what happened. It turned into a game of good news/bad news. “The good news is that one of the orchestra members was so dedicated that even after two concerts, he wanted to practice the piece some more. The bad news is that he left the music at home. Fortunately, he doesn’t live far away, and he has his part in the Brahms memorized, so we will play the Brahms now and perform the Foote after the intermission.”

And just for the record, my impressions of the concert, since you didn’t ask.

  • Schwantner The Poet’s Hour: Calm, soothing music from the orchestra is rudely disturbed by dissonant music from the violin soloist.
  • Brahms Symphony #3: No real surprises.
  • Foote Francesca da Rimini: I was pleasantly surprised by this piece. It was actually rather nice.
  • Prokofiev Piano Concerto #2: While technically impressive, I understand why this piece received a hostile reception at its premiere.
  • New hairstyles (and colors) for the concertmaster and principal second violin.



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