Concerts: Sound, Preserved & Pirated

The house lights dim. In the balcony, a man warily eyes the ushers, then slips his hand beneath his folded over coat and flips a tiny switch protruding from a briefcase balanced on his knees.

Inside the briefcase, cradled in foam rubber, the reels of a tape recorder silently begin to turn. Then, reaching up his sleeve, he pulls out the tip of a 16-in. long microphone gun, shelters it with his palm and points it at the stage. In the orchestra seats, a woman wraps her program around a slender microphone, switches...

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