A number of years ago, the Seattle Symphony was doing Beetho...
A number of years ago, the Seattle Symphony was doing

Beethoven's Ninth under the baton of Milton Katims...



At this point, you must understand two things:



(1)There's a long segment in this symphony where the bass

violins don't have a thing to do. Not a single note for page

after page.



(2)There used to be a tavern called Dez's 400 right across the

street from the Seattle Opera house, rather favored by the local

musicians.



It had been decieded that during this performance, after the

bass players had played their parts in the opening of the Ninth,

they were to quietly lay down their instruments and leave the

stage rather than sitting on their stools looking and feeling

dumb for twenty minutes.



Well, once they got backstage, someone suggested they trot

across the street and quaff a few beers. After they downed the

first couple of rounds, one said, "Shouldn't we be getting back?

It would be awfully embarrassing if we were late."



Another, presumably the one who suggested this excersion in the

first place, replied, "Oh I anticipated that we would need a

little more time, so I tied the last few pages of the

conductor's score together. When he gets down to there, Milton's

going to have to slow the tempo way down while he waves the

baton in one hand and fumble with the string with the other."



So they had another round and finally returned to the Opera

House, a little tipsy by now. However, as they came back on

stage, one look at their conductor's face told them they were in

serious trouble.



Katims was furious! And why not? After all...



It was the bottom of the Ninth, the score was tied, and the

basses were loaded!


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