If you go here you can read one person’s opinion about a concert he/she attended. (It appears that the blogger is anonymous. Maybe I’m missing his/her name somewhere though.)

I can see why the person isn’t totally thrilled, but, at the same time, it seemed to me that the concert-goer went in with the expectation to be unhappy. Because he/she calls intermission the “interval” I’m going to guess he/she is from somewhere other than here, although I guess I could spell color “colour” and I’d still be here no matter. But in any case, it sounds like that particular person isn’t happy with the whole classical music experience.

The blogger complains about musicians warming up on stage. I know that some audience members complain about the noise. Sometimes, I must admit, it’s even a bit too raucous for me. But I will explain that we oboists, at least, are out there because our reeds are constantly changing and we want to see what they’ve decided to do that day, that hour. Tuning is important too, and it’s best to have your instrument adapted to the stage temperature, which can differ greatly from backstage temps. You might even see us pull out our knives and do something to a reed. It’s necessary. Honest. If we didn’t have to do that we wouldn’t. But reeds behave differently on stage than they do at our homes, our studios, or even backstage. They behave differently from one day to the next. Sometimes even from one hour to the next. We aren’t making noise simply because we like to bother people. I also understand that some orchestras in Europe (maybe all?) don’t do that. I talked to a friend of mine from France and she much prefers playing here so she can warm up in the location where she’ll be playing.

Ah well. There will always be complaints.

Oh … and I went to the movies and I couldn’t get into their bathroom until I had purchased my ticket, so I’m not sure the “I can’t use the bathroom and I’m not happy about that” is just a “classical music concert” problem.

Tails? Yeah, I’d love to see ’em nixed. I’ve written about that before. Someone talking before we play something? I don’t usually like it. Oh, and usually actually equalsall the time. I find it disruptive. I find it unnecessary. And if I’m ready to go, that five minute talk can make the reed dry out, misbehave, or otherwise surprise me. That’s why I like the pre-concert talks; people who really want to hear about the works can come early. I prefer a concert start and end with music.

You’ll read even more complaints if you visit the blog.

But anyway, I’m sorry the blogger had such a horrible no-good time. But the title of the blog is
“Proper Discord: Trouble With Classical Music” so I’m guessing he/she always has a pretty bad time …?

Me? I have a good time when I attend concerts. I really do. Since Dan and I have started to make a point of getting out to concerts more frequently I decided I was going to enjoy, not to grumble. I’m paying a good amount of money and I want to enjoy myself. (If I wanna pay big bucks to be frustrated and upset it seems I only have to go to a Giants game. Sigh. Only once, somewhat recently, did I go to a symphony performance where I got the feeling the musicians weren’t happy to be there and the playing was less than stellar. (And no, I won’t tell you any more than that.) We all have our bad days, after all.

I should probably start a blog about the trouble with dentists. I don’t have a good time there. Ever.


  1. I loved your response… i sort of took the bait and visited the blog and had trouble not expressing my opinions. I’m out the door to teach and then take an audition so I really have more important things to do so I will probably regret my hasty reply to his blog that makes me look like an arrogant musician but who knows…i can’t always resit the urge to open my mouth. Shame on me.

    My own two cents here: men and woman are differently-abled when it comes to a speedy bathroom visit. I think long lines for ladies are in the cards for many years to come. I could be wrong 🙂

  2. I thought your response was fine, Joe, and you’ll see another good one below yours now.

    I just think some people weren’t meant to go to concerts; they can only hear and see the negative. I’d never spend big bucks if I had that writer’s attitude before even getting in the door!

  3. I love hearing players warm up and tune on stage. I think it goes back to watching Fantasia when I was tiny. 🙂