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But it was a moment of dizzying collective rapture that was all too predictably ruined by some eejit in the Royal Festival Hall shouting “bravi!” – from one of the boxes, I’m pretty sure – before any of us, including the orchestra, had the chance to come down to earth again. There is no greater musical violence an audience member can commit than to scar this unique moment, when time seems to stop still at the end of a great performance, with a selfish, solo shout.

And then there’s the ludicrous pretentiousness of using the Italian plural form, “bravi”, as if to show the rest of the audience, and Rattle and the players too, that he’s clever enough to know the correct endings of Italian adjectives, rather than using the “bravo” that anyone else in this country would recognise or employ.

I shout “Bravi” too. Sigh. And “Bravi tutti!” as well.

I DO understand the annoyance of an early clapper. It really can shatter a mood. But I also know how dissing someone who breaks that “silence rule” might feel the disdain of the audience and never return to a concert. I think we all can lighten up a bit. Sure, he should have waited. Perhaps he will figure that out in time. Making fun of someone isn’t all that helpful, really.

1 Comment

  1. I have a similar pet peeve. One of our local NPR announcers, who hosts a classical music program, seems just unable to get that music requires some “buffer” of silence — even if just one or two seconds — after its last notes. The other day, she played Glenn Gould doing just the aria from Goldberg Variations. IMMEDIATELY after the last G was struck — long before the full note finished sounding — she started blabbering. Made me wonder if she’s the type that starts fishing out car keys and wraps during the last scene of an opera.