05. October 2010 · Comments Off on Applause (again) · Categories: Applause

Galas sometimes attract those unschooled in symphonic protocol, so I wasn’t surprised to hear some applause between movements. And Perlman and company should be used to such a reaction. While I appreciate the chance to silently soak in the completion of a movement and hear the purity of the beginning of the next, well, if an audience is inspired to show its appreciation for a performance, who am I to suggest that others restrain themselves?

What I found bothersome was the tittering that followed the applause. I couldn’t help but feel that some audience members were afraid that the great Perlman would think that we were a bunch of yokels for violating this rule of musical etiquette. (Perlman turned and made comments about it during a break, but I wasn’t in a position to hear what he said.)

Ultimately, the will-they-or-won’t-they hurt but didn’t ruin a strong musical evening.

As usual, a read of Marianne Williams Tobias’ excellent program notes was instructive. In writing about the Dvorak, she said, “The symphony was an instant success, both in America and Europe. At the New York premiere, December 16, 1893, applause followed every movement.”

I do think it’s even more annoying to deal with the shushing, uncomfortable laughter, or haughty sniffling that seems to happen when the between-the-movements applause occurs. Can’t we all just lighten up a little and relax?

I read it here.

I remember hearing someone make some noise at a concert once and the shushing by others was worse than the initial noise. Silly, eh?

(Yes, I’ve posted a lot today. Call it Gypsy Airs procrastination, if you will; I have to work on Kodaly and Dohnanyi and for some reason I keep hesitating. But no longer … off I go!)

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