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22.10.05

No Applause for Montreal

As reported by Gramophone and Andrew Taylor Drew McManus at Adaptistration, Montreal's Symphony Orchestra is back at work after a six-month-long strike. That's six months less Kent Nagano than the town could have had - and I am not sure if I'd be very kindly disposed to the symphony's demand for more money in light of the significant ammount of debt the MSO has to deal with. But what is so bizarrely loathsome about the situation is one particular demand the players had (and thankfully were not granted). They "insisted that if audiences continued to applaud beyond the designated service period, overtime rates would go into effect." ("In the new agreement, the musicians conceded that concerts will be considered finished when the music stops.")

I don't even know where to begin - that demand is so wrong, so despicable, so indicative of musicians that I actually don't want to hear. But I know that if any orchestra in my vicinity were ever have the gall to think in that direction, my post-concert behavior would be marked by two extended fingers - one on each hand - and a rather crass vocalization of my displeasure. (All that, of course, only after shouting: "Maestro - get out of the way!") How naive was I to think that the orchestra's demand to be paid by the note (as put forward by string players of a German orchestra) was the epitome of stupidity among orchestral folk.

1 comment:

Drew McManus said...

Just a small point of clarification: my weblog neighbor and colleague, Andrew Taylor, writes the fine column entitled "The Artful Manager" whereas I write Adaptistration.

Drew McManus