It’s true that a performance of orchestral music is enhanced by a common agreement that the audience will listen attentively - but don't shame and scold those who break the unwritten rules, says Paul Wells.

Wolfgang Mozart was not quite 30 years old when he finished writing his Masonic Funeral Music in the fall of 1785, and he had barely six years to live. The piece is six minutes long, rarely performed anymore, a straightforward and mournful funeral march at a slow tempo. It ends with a trick Mozart liked to use, one musicians call a “Tierce de Picardie“: the whole piece is in a minor key but the final chord is major, an unexpected ray of hope.

On Sunday Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society (established 1815) played the Masonic Funeral Music at that city’s Symphony Hall. Just after conductor Harry Christophers led the fine little orchestra through the last note, a little boy’s voice broke the silence: “Wow!”... Keep reading on Maclean's