The Globe reports on the replacement of the stage floor at Symphony Hall. In short: they’re going to an awful lot of trouble, mainly because of the floor’s “mystical reputation” among musicians for contributing to the overall acoustic of the place.
A show of hands: how many people think that the practical result of this will be a lot of sad head-shaking and pompous murmurs of how it just doesn’t sound like it used to? How much less murmuring would have occurred if the BSO had said nothing at all? (It’s not like they’re replacing maple with stainless steel and bathroom tile.)
This is a familiar trope in classical music coverage, particularly when new halls open — a review of the acoustic. Complaints about the acoustic. How much money has been spent tweaking the acoustic. Who cares? It’s the kind of head-of-a-pin criticism that makes classical music seem like a lot more work than it is. (And makes people insecure about their own ability to hear.)
But what’s this?
“The orchestra has saved the floorboards and plans to polish them, and sell small pieces as mementos and souvenirs.”
Can I buy the whole floor? I want the most acoustically mystical backyard deck in town!
(Something about Boston and floors.)