Many years ago, I was at a New York Philharmonic concert with my husband. Isaac Stern was performing, and given his age, I was thrilled to be in the audience. I had a similar reaction each time I watched Leonard Bernstein conduct in his later years. I thought each performance might be his last.
In the middle of the second movement of the first piece, Stern, seated next to the conductor, just stopped playing. Literally. A hush fell over the auditorium. The orchestra’s sound petered out – instrument by instrument. The audience had that “what just happened?” look.