After an introductory meditation by Messiaen, yesterday afternoon’s audience at the Concertgebouw were awaiting a concerto by Wolfgang Rihm when the piano mysteriously failed to materialise on stage.
A manager came out to announce that the hydraulic machinery had failed and it had been decided to play the symphony – Bruckner’s seventh – relegating the concerto until after the interval.
The audience bore this development with typical Dutch phlegm.
However, it then became clear that the percussionist was not yet in the house.
So the interval was called.
Afterwards, Christoph Eschenbach conducted the radio philharmonic orchestra in the Bruckner.
Nicely done. Afterwards, still no piano.
The Concertgebouw, apparently, just couldn’t get it up.