Now, I know it’s really rude and pretentious to do this, but I have seen so many different versions of it, and none of them are mine, which is ten times better.
So I decided to share it.
For a lot of Beethoven’s 9th, the basses tacet. Not a single note.
So it was decided, in an orchestra that was playing this very piece, that at the beginning of this period, the basses would all quietly put down their instruments and leave the stage. Previous to this, they had all decided that it would be a good idea to go to the pub right across the street and have a few drinks (not too many, of course, or they might get drunk.)
Upon their arrival, they met a European nobleman who recognized them as musicians and offered to buy them a few rounds. They, of course, joyously accepted and began drinking. Unfortunately, after several rounds, one of the bassists looked at his watch and said, “Oh my goodness! Look at the time! We’ll be late!” However, by this point, two of the bassists and the nobleman were all totally out. The drunk bassists tried in van to rouse their companions, but to no avail, so they staggered back across the street, swearing.
“Wait,” said one, “what if we get back and miss our cue?”
“No worries,” slurred the one that had had the idea in the first place. “I tied our conductor’s score together with a piece of string right before our entrance, so when he reaches that point he’ll have to slow the tempo way down while fumbling with the string with his other hand.”
Sure enough, when they got back, they hadn’t missed their cue, but their conductor was furious! After all,