Never, ever, record a symphony or opera concert. Ever. If you do, it will be a blatant and vile transgression against the very foundations of what your friends want you to share with them. (And the unions are bitchy about it, too, I think.)
Has this ever struck anyone as strange? We might wonder if the pre-concert proclamation, made by a digital town crier, was written by the legal department and carries the full force of the law. “No recordings of any type.” What is the value of recording a classical music concert?
Let’s examine the perception that this undermines the concert process. Most symphony concerts are half empty. They’re not half full. They are half empty. Make no mistake.
"No recordings of any type!"
What if, before a classical music concert, a real, live person came out and said:
Please record the concert, please take pictures and share them with every single person you know online. Please share your experience with others right now as it is happening.
We’re struggling to keep people interested in classical music so anything you can do to help get others interested would be a miracle. Oh wait, we’ve got to rebroadcast this on our local public radio station in a few months. Forget what we just said and gather your friends together in your car because this isn’t even going to stream online, and who the f— has a radio anywhere else besides their car?
OK, OK. Here’s what we want you to do. Get your friends together on a Sunday evening around 7:30 p.m, in your car. Listen to this concert with them, but before that, give them a detailed description of the concert hall until their eyes glaze over. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words so that should be your guideline for length.
As the music is playing give your best impersonation of the conductor and at appropriate times in the music impersonate the concertmaster, the timpanist, and the double basses. However, be careful because you are in a car and might hurt someone and we don’t want to be liable.
Or maybe it would be better for you to just sit there during this concert, not record anything, and then go out two by two like the early disciples and spread the good word of classical music from door to door. Make sure you wear black pants, a white shirt, and black tie. You don’t have to walk, you could ride a bike or something. Who wouldn’t want that to show up on their doorstep?
You know what — just let us handle this. We have a marketing department that has filled half of this not-even-that-big hall. You all sit there and listen — and give us some extra money because we aren’t selling tickets — damn it.