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A Few More Thoughts on Applause: Why Can We Interrupt at the Met?

I have been having a wonderful time going to hear opera – this year at the Met, the thrill of an unforgettable Tristan and Isolde, a beautiful – and new to me – Thais by Massenet, and a deeply touching Eugene Onegin. During the Tchaikovsky I realized that the audience expectation and behavior is the complete opposite of what we are used to in the concert hall. At the end of virtually every aria, there was wild applause, which often had little to do with the actual action on stage and certainly no connection to the story line.

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Disney Hall

It is a real challenge for anything that is awaited with great anticipation to actually live up to the excitement. After the thrill of performing in the new Disney Hall, I can only say that for me, it has surpassed all my expectations. In the most exhilarating way, it inspires awe without forcing us to be reverent.

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When to Applaud

All of us love applause, and so we should – it means that the listener LIKES us! So we should welcome applause whenever it comes. And yet, we seem to have set up some very arcane rules as to when it is actually OK to applaud. I have been trying to find out exactly when certain listeners and performers decided that applause between movements would not be “allowed”, or at least would be frowned upon, but nobody seems to have been willing to admit that they were the culprit.

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Next Concerts

    March 30, 2017

    Paris, France

    Concert, Philharmonie de Paris, PARIS

    Programme: MOZART Piano Concerto No 22, K482

    Other Performers: Orchestre de Paris
    Conductor: Dohnanyi

    April 6, 2017

    Munich, Bavaria

    Concert, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, MUNICH

    Programme: MOZART Piano Concerto No 22 in E flat, K482

    Other Performers: Bayerishcher Rundfunk
    Conductor: Mariss Jansons

    April 9, 2017

    Lucerne, Switzerland

    Concert, Kultur- und Kongresszentrum, LUCERNE

    Programme: MOZART Piano Concerto No 22 in E flat, K482

    Other Performers: Bayerishcher Rundfunk
    Conductor: Mariss Jansons

    April 15, 2017

    Portland, ME

    Portland Ovations

    Programme: FRANZ SCHUBERT Four Impromptus Op 142 • D 935 (1827)
    SAMUEL ADAMS Impromptus (2015-16)

    1) Schubert – No 1 in F minor
    2) Adams – “10.17.2017”
    3) Schubert – No 2 in Ab major
    4) Adams – after Franz Schubert
    5) Schubert – No 3 in Bb major
    6) Adams – after my very young life
    7) Schubert – No 4 in F minor

    Samuel Adams’ ‘Impromptus’ has been commissioned by Music Accord, the North American consortium of classical music presenting organizations.

    – Interval –

    CHOPIN Impromptu in A flat, Op 29
    CHOPIN Impromptu in F sharp Op 36
    CHOPIN Sonata in B minor Op 58

     

    April 17, 2017

    Rochester, NY

    Eastman School of Music

    Programme: FRANZ SCHUBERT Four Impromptus Op 142 • D 935 (1827)
    SAMUEL ADAMS Impromptus (2015-16)

    1) Schubert – No 1 in F minor
    2) Adams – “10.17.2017”
    3) Schubert – No 2 in Ab major
    4) Adams – after Franz Schubert
    5) Schubert – No 3 in Bb major
    6) Adams – after my very young life
    7) Schubert – No 4 in F minor

    Samuel Adams’ ‘Impromptus’ has been commissioned by Music Accord, the North American consortium of classical music presenting organizations.

    – Interval –

    CHOPIN Impromptu in A flat, Op 29
    CHOPIN Impromptu in F sharp Op 36
    CHOPIN Sonata in B minor Op 58

    April 19, 2017

    Philadelphia, PA

    Philadelphia Chamber Music Society

    Programme: FRANZ SCHUBERT Four Impromptus Op 142 • D 935 (1827)
    SAMUEL ADAMS Impromptus (2015-16)

    1) Schubert – No 1 in F minor
    2) Adams – “10.17.2017”
    3) Schubert – No 2 in Ab major
    4) Adams – after Franz Schubert
    5) Schubert – No 3 in Bb major
    6) Adams – after my very young life
    7) Schubert – No 4 in F minor

    Samuel Adams’ ‘Impromptus’ has been commissioned by Music Accord, the North American consortium of classical music presenting organizations.

    – Interval –

    CHOPIN Impromptu in A flat, Op 29
    CHOPIN Impromptu in F sharp Op 36
    CHOPIN Sonata in B minor Op 58

    April 22, 2017

    New York, NY

    Carnegie Hall

    Programme: FRANZ SCHUBERT Four Impromptus Op 142 • D 935 (1827)
    SAMUEL ADAMS Impromptus (2015-16)

    1) Schubert – No 1 in F minor
    2) Adams – “10.17.2017”
    3) Schubert – No 2 in Ab major
    4) Adams – after Franz Schubert
    5) Schubert – No 3 in Bb major
    6) Adams – after my very young life
    7) Schubert – No 4 in F minor

    Samuel Adams’ ‘Impromptus’ has been commissioned by Music Accord, the North American consortium of classical music presenting organizations.

    – Interval –

    CHOPIN Impromptu in A flat, Op 29
    CHOPIN Impromptu in F sharp Op 36
    CHOPIN Sonata in B minor Op 58

    May 3, 2017

    Evanston, IL

    North Western University

    Programme: FRANZ SCHUBERT Four Impromptus Op 142 • D 935 (1827)
    SAMUEL ADAMS Impromptus (2015-16)

    1) Schubert – No 1 in F minor
    2) Adams – “10.17.2017”
    3) Schubert – No 2 in Ab major
    4) Adams – after Franz Schubert
    5) Schubert – No 3 in Bb major
    6) Adams – after my very young life
    7) Schubert – No 4 in F minor

    Samuel Adams’ ‘Impromptus’ has been commissioned by Music Accord, the North American consortium of classical music presenting organizations.

    – Interval –

    CHOPIN Impromptu in A flat, Op 29
    CHOPIN Impromptu in F sharp Op 36
    CHOPIN Sonata in B minor Op 58

NY Philharmonic

Artist-in-Residence: Emanuel Ax 2012/13.
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Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4
Brahms: Music For 2 Pianos
Haydn: Piano Sonatas
Liszt: Piano Sonata in B Minor
Mendelssohn: Piano Trios
Strauss: Enoch Arden

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Extract from masterclass given by Emanuel Ax on Beethoven Piano Sonatas and Variations. The student is Nicolas Van Poucke. The full masterclass is available on DVD from www.masterclassfoundation.org

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