A managed care company president was given a ticket for a performance
of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony. Since she was unable to go, she gave
the ticket to one of her managed care reviewers. The next morning she asked
him how he had enjoyed it. Instead of a few observations about the symphony
in general, she was handed a formal memorandum which read as follows:
1. For a considerable period, the oboe players had nothing to do. Their
number should be reduced, and their work spread over the whole orchestra,
avoiding peaks of inactivity.
2. All 12 violins were playing identical notes. This seems an unneeded
duplication, and the staff of this section should be cut. If a volume of
sound is really required, this could be accomplished with the use of an
3. Much effort was involved in playing the 16th notes. This appears to
be an excessive refinement, and it is recommended that all notes be rounded
up to the nearest 8th note. If this were done it would be possible to use
para-professionals instead of experienced musicians.
4. No useful purpose is served by repeating with horns the passage that
has already been handled by the strings. If all such redundant passages
were eliminated then the concert could be reduced from two hours to twenty
5. The symphony had two movements. If Mr. Schubert didn't achieve his
musical goals by the end of the first movement,then he should have stopped
there. The second movement is unnecessary and should be cut.
In light of the above, one can only conclude that had Mr. Schubert given
attention to these matters, he probably would have had time to finish the