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Beating Time

British conductor Sir Thomas Beecham wasn’t a great admirer of the music of his fellow Briton, composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. During the rehearsal of a Williams symphony, Beecham seemed to be doing little more than listlessly beating time. In fact, he was still beating time after the orchestra had stopped.

“Why aren’t you playing?” Beecham mildly asked the first violinist.

“It’s finished, Sir Thomas,” came the reply.

Beecham looked down at his score. “So it is!”

Today in the Word, September 16, 1993