Let's Imagine

The RPO’s Annual Meeting, Having Been Held in Rochester’s Opulent Eastman Theatre, Later Discussed by The Busts of Bach and Beethoven Over the Exits

Johann: Grüß dich! That brass quintet, sehr gut! Don’t you think, my old friend?

Ludwig: Ja, ja, I almost heard it! I think it was almost as compelling as the players’ rousing performance of The Firebird by the Russian Wild One, Herr Stravinsky. (He pauses, leans over, whispering) But I believe the young man who spoke afterward, Herr Owens, may have a Napoleonic complex. Did you catch all his mumbling about fame and glory, making the RPO famous around the world?

Johann: Oh, nein, you misunderstood. I believe he is a visionary! He wants more of our fine orchestra’s music on the radio. An excellent notion! But I am unclear about the meaning of some of his language. Podcasts? Downloading? Is that a kind of sudden decrescendo?

Ludwig: Freeloading? What of money?

Johann: Money?

Ludwig: Ja, what news of the orchestra’s fine patrons? Of the players’ fair compensation?

Johann: Patrons were very generous this year. Herr Boucher, Chairman of the Board of Directors, announced a $240,950 surplus, perhaps enough to finance a splendid pipe organ, I daresay.

Ludwig (shakes his head, muttering to himself): You and that infernal pipe!

Johann: But all of the news was not good. The greatest composers’ work was less well received than Bugs Bunny’s. Less than 40,000 patrons paid to hear Philharmonics concerts, but nearly 50,000 sought out the inferior company of Fraulein Dee Dee Daniels and Herr Bunny.

Ludwig: Money? You mean das Geld?

Johann: Nein, artistically. Much has been accomplished! The players have produced a recording which sold ten thousand copies, topped only by Herr Sting and Herr Yo Yo Ma.

Ludwig: Ten thousand guppies?

Johann: I believe this success is making them heady. Now the players want to travel, my friend, within this country and elsewhere.

Ludwig: Fame is not such a bad thing, you know.

Johann: Ja, not all musicians die in obscurity. Perhaps Herr Tyzik will, like us, achieve immortality. Perhaps he will one day join us as a bust. (As an aside, almost wistfully) He has, after all, already been honored with a bobblehead. (pause, then louder) The thought makes me want to reach for my favorite pipe! Auf Wiedersehen!

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