Being in the biz (Music of the Baroque) I think a lot about what makes a good concert. Orchestras (chamber music groups, bands, recitalists…), unlike theaters and opera companies, have to compose a concert in much the same way you'd compose a meal. In some respects I think that just about any program of music that is well-played can be satisfying. Witness the popularity of shuffling tracks. But there's the issue of control. One out of eight shuffles might produce a nifty sequence of music, but am I comfortable charging people money for a throw of the musical dice? I guess that in the end I feel that by carefully planning a concert one can create a better total experience. All this came to mind recently when I heard the Tallis Scholars at Rockefeller Chapel. On the one hand, they were EXQUISITE! Their intonation, their purity of sound, their blend and the setting were all wonderful. On the other, I have to admit that by the time the first half was over, I was done. It reminded me of some wine tastings – even if the wines were fabulous, I quickly needed some bread, some water, something to refresh my senses and let me continue. (For those not familiar with the Tallis Scholars or that concert, the program was all sacred music from 1550 – 1750 performed by a 10-voice, unaccompanied choir.) I'm sure there were listeners who found great variety between Praetorius, Hassler, Schutz and Bach. And I hasten to say that I'm in no way dissing the ensemble, I'm saying that the concert made me think about concerts. I left asking myself if a concert of three symphonies could be satisfying? In Chicago we've had the opportunity (or will have) of hearing Mozart's last three symphonies in one concert. And what constitutes variety? Period – would a few modern works for 10 voices have refreshed my ears? Size – would it have made a difference if they performed a few trios? Other instruments – would a consort of viols or a brass quintet interspersed in the concert have made a positive difference? A few remarks?Like most things, I don't know, but I think about it a lot.