Last night I was at a superb season-ending performance of Mahler's "Resurrection" symphony by the Minnesota Orchestra under Osmo Vanska. The acoustics at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis are among the best - very live.
The 2nd movement of the symphony ends with a lovely run featuring a harp, then a pause, then two very soft pizzicato chords by the strings, with a short pause in between. A magical effect. Near the end of the harp's phrase there was an audible cough from near the front of the hall. Then the pause. Then the first plucked chord, beautifully played pianissimo, but as it died away a quite loud cough from the other side of the front main floor, audible throughout the hall. The spell was broken. Maestro Vanska shook his head from side to side on the podium and then conducted the final pizz chord. Following which, he took out a white handkerchief and without turning around, waved it over his shoulder at the audience. A marvelous response to inconsiderate audience members; it generated some very discreet chuckles in the area in which I sat.
Do others have similar experiences to report? Performer/conductor reactions?
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