A managed care company president was given a ticket for a performance
of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony. Since she was unable to go, she
gave the ticket to one of her managed care reviewers. The next
morning she asked him how he had enjoyed it. Instead of a few
observations about the symphony in general, she was handed a formal
memorandum which read as follows:
1. For a considerable period, the oboe players had nothing to do.
Their number should be reduced, and their work spread over the whole
orchestra, avoiding peaks of inactivity.
In light of the above, one can only conclude that had Mr. Schubert
given attention to these matters, he probably would have had time to
finish the symphony.
2. All 12 violins were playing the same notes. This seems an unnecessary
duplication of work, and the number of players in this section should be cut. If a volume
of sound is really required, this could be accomplished with the use of microphones.
3. Much effort was involved in playing the 16th notes. This appears to
be an excessive refinement, and it is recommended that all notes be
rounded up to the nearest 8th note. If this were done it would be
possible to use semi-professionals instead of experienced musicians.
4. No useful purpose is served by repeating with horns the passage
that has already been handled by the strings. If all such redundant
passages were eliminated then the concert could be reduced from two
hours to twenty minutes.
5. The symphony had two movements. If Mr. Schubert didn't achieve his
musical goals by the end of the first movement, then he should have
stopped there. The second movement is unnecessary and should be cut.
[author and source unknown]
Words About Music