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Mahler, Gilbert and the cell phone

· At the New York Metropolitan ·

“Each limit has its patience” said the immortal Maestro Scannagatti in Toto' a colori [Toto' in Color] already in 1952.

Alan Gilbert, his illustrious colleague, lost his patience when he decided to stop the New York Philharmonic which was performing Mahler's Ninth Symphony at the Avery Fisher Hall in Lincolm Center because of the ring tone of a mobile phone.

The noise was so loud he could not continue. Gilbert therefore turned his head and, rightly so, embarrassed the person who thought he needed to be available 24 hours a day and for this stopping the emotional flow of hundreds of people.

Occasionally it can be stopped for pedagogical purposes, but usually one continues so as to safeguard the audience's integrity even if disturbed by a ringing sound that once was a chic, now not even that.

Sure, it is sad to see that stopping an excellent performance guarantees greater media coverage. I wonder if Gilbert knew that or was more tense than the usual.

In any case, switch off all cellphones is more elegant than the contrary.




St. Peter’s Square

Dec. 11, 2019