Saturday, May 10, 2008

How the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra lost a sale

Last night, my wife and I went to a concert by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The program consisted of Verdi's overture to "La Forza del Destino," a Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra by Alan Fletcher (in its world premiere), and Strauss' "Ein Heldenleben."

Before the concert started, a message on the projector screens on either side of the stage announced that the weekend's performances were to be recorded for a CD. It gave the name of the record label producing the CD and I think it said the CD would be available in the fall.

I don't think I had ever attended a performance before that was being recorded for an CD, and I leaned over to Janet and joked, "If we clap loud enough, we might hear ourselves on the CD!"

Joking aside, the announcement created a sense of anticipation within me, as I believe it was intended to do. That anticipation was heightened at the end of the concert, when Janet told me that she had enjoyed "Ein Heldenleben." That meant that the coming CD might make a valuable addition of our collection.

As we went out into the lobby, I was ready to buy the CD, although it did not yet exist. I asked three different people if there was a way for me to sign on to a list so that I could be notified when the CD came out. None of them knew the answer, although the last person told me that someone at the PSO's store, "The Curtain Call," might know.

"The Curtain Call" is in a separate building, half a block away. The garage in which I had parked my car was closer.

I went to my car.

I read somewhere once about a rock concert that was recorded live. When audience members left the auditorium, they were able to buy fresh-minted CDs on their way out. I do not expect that alacrity of production from the PSO; I accept the fact that their CD will not appear for months. But I see no reason why they could not have had a table set up in the lobby, where a charming person could capture my credit card information and place me on a list to receive a copy of their new CD by mail when it becomes available.

Now it apparently falls on me to keep an eye out over the next several months for an announcement of the CD's availability; then, when it is available, to visit "The Curtain Call" - either going on my lunch hour, or making a special trip Downtown - to buy it.

The odds of all that happening are slim to none.

I was ready to give them my money last night. They should have been ready to take it.
Post a Comment