All the stuff I’ve written about “it’s okay to applaud between movements”? Well, I guess I lied!

I’m just home from a San Francisco Symphony chamber music concert with Yuja Wang. The first half of the program was the Dvorak Piano Quintet, Opus 81, and the second was the Brahms Piano Quintet, Opus 34. The audience applauded between each movement. Not just ones that are so exciting they couldn’t help themselves, but every single movement. It bugged me. It was especially annoying that some had to applaud even before the final notes had sounded fully some of the time. Is this just me being a snob? Is this just me being an old lady? I wonder.

The performances themselves were quite enjoyable. There were some clothing (costume?) choices I found unfortunate, but again, that’s probably just me being too darn picky or something, so I won’t go into all of that here. (I will say, though, that you take away the “must wear black and it must be long” option and you really do open up Pandora’s box!)

Any string players reading this? Have you played those works? Would you think it odd to hear applause after every movement? The players just disregarded it. I would have thought the audience might then have caught on, but they didn’t. And these weren’t just young’uns applauding. The older people in front of me certainly clapped.

Oh well. Guess I’m just a grumpy gus about this.

25. September 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Chamber Music, Videos

New York Chamber Music Festival 2010
New York Philharmonic Principal winds
Liang Wang, oboe
Pascual Martinez Forteza, clarinet
Judith LeClair, bassoon
Philip Myers, horn
Shai Wosner, Piano
Beethoven Piano & Woodwinds quintet
Live from Symphony Space
September 16th, 2010

05. July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Chamber Music, Other People's Words

Chloe Veltman, of Lies Like Truth has a fun post up about the community groups she sometimes plays in (she plays oboe). Here is a snippet:

The musicians in one group in Oakland with which I sometimes play, have at least a sense of self awareness about their lack of diligence at the expense of fun. At last week’s rehearsal, one of the players handed around sheets of paper imprinted with seven pointers for “How to Play Chamber Music.” The handout, which is currently attached to my fridge, made me giggle. Anyone who’s ever played chamber music in a not-too-serious setting may recognize some if not all of these standards:

1. Everyone should try to play the same piece.

2. If you play a wrong note, give a nasty look to one of the other players.

3. A repeat sign means everyone should stop and discuss in detail whether to repeat that section or not.

4. If the ensemble has to stop because of you, explain in detail why you got lost. Everyone will be immensely interested.

5. If you are completely lost, stop everyone and say: “I think we should tune.”

6. If everyone is lost except you, follow those who are lost.

7. If everyone else has finished playing, do not play any notes you have left over.

14. May 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Chamber Music, Videos

New and somewhat unusual group combinations are forming. I do yearn sometimes for something new and different. I can dream … yes?

First there is Classical Jam. I love the “450 pre-k?!” line in the video before. Very funny.

I was sent two very wonderful CDs by the group Madera Vox. Truly delightful! I especially loved the self-titled CD, as the other really is geared for children and mine are now fully grown. (Thank you so much for sending these my way, Nicole!)