Want to hear the second (or third) best performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony you’ve ever heard for free?

Here’s how.

1. Buy a ticket to the Philharmonic Society’s presentation of John Eliot Gardiner, the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Monteverdi Choir and soloists performing the work on Nov. 20 in Segerstrom Concert Hall.

2. Afterwards, take your ticket to the Philharmonic Society box office and say, “Well, Gardiner was good, but he’s no Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt” or some such, and the Philharmonic Society will fork over your dough.

That’s right. The Philharmonic Society is offering a money back guarantee to the concert.

“If this is not the best performance of Beethoven’s Ninth you’ve ever heard, you can have your money back,” the Society’s president, Dean Corey, says in a news release. “You have my word on it.”

OK, so, it’s a marketing ploy, but rather a clever one, I think, and one that the Society isn’t likely to lose their shirts on.

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