|The gangs all here....|
But evidently a fellow concertgoer had a sudden jones for a bag of M&Ms and a coffee. Now it's true that if Beethoven had been in the audience, he wouldn't have been able to hear and might not even have been bothered--being a fan of both Viennese coffee and chocolate. And soloist Efim Bronfman was on stage with a bunch of strings at his back. He wouldn't have been disturbed enough either to ask the man to desist or to share his stash. Classical musicians should be grateful for what they don't have to hear in the audience. And I mean in the audience.
Because my friend and I, seated next to Mr. M&M in the last row of the dress circle, sure could hear the rustle and crumple of his little brown bag (as well as that peculiar snap-and-slurp of the flap being flipped on a cup of take-out coffee and those subsequent office-saving sips--which are all okay as the audible backdrop, Monday-Friday, 7:00-10:00 am).
What I'm saying is that right as the strings began their elegiac entry and Bronfman entered with his mournful,lonely descending phrases (think Hamlet pacing the palace at Elsinore, St. Anthony pacing the desert, Gregor Samsa--now a cockroach--pacing his room, wishing he'd come up with "I should have been a pair of ragged claws/scuttling across the floors of silent seas" instead of TS Eliot), this nut-job with the M&Ms and coffee opened up both.
Am I being harsh? Yes, I am. I know that. Probably he didn't realize that a twenty-minute intermission is a goodly length of time for consuming whatever excess calories you need to consume during a two-hour concert during which you are sitting passively and doing nothing else with your body other than listening. Or maybe he wasn't listening. Or maybe he didn't realize that others were. Were trying to.
You see what's happening? I'm ending sentences in prepositions. Writing fragments. I'm over-exercised. And I'm just sitting at my desk.
BUT, on the off-chance you don't know the adagio movement of Beethoven's Emperor concerto, click on Beethoven's just-slightly John-C-Reilly-looking face and take a listen. And then, if you like it, Utube the third movement, which is just joke-upon-joke--the same theme served up again and again and again. It's wonderful. It's funny. It's goofy--how could a deaf composer be that goofy? That's why I love him so. And during that movement, feel free to break out the M&Ms.