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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

    December 2, 2022

    New York Philharmonic

    David Geffen Hall

    BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 19

    with Rafael Payare, conductor

    December 3, 2022

    New York Philharmonic

    David Geffen Hall

    BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 19

    with Rafael Payare, conductor

    December 10, 2022

    University Musical Society

    Hill Auditorium

    Perlman and Friends

    Itzhak Perlman, violin
    Emanuel Ax, piano
    Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
    Juilliard String Quartet

    Jean-Marie Leclair Sonata for Two Violins in e minor, Op. 3, No. 5
    W.A. Mozart Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-Flat Major, K. 493
    Ernest Chausson Concert for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet, Op. 21

    December 12, 2022

    Roy Thomson Hall

    Roy Thomson Hall

    Perlman and Friends

    Itzhak Perlman, violin
    Emanuel Ax, piano
    Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
    Juilliard String Quartet

    Jean-Marie Leclair Sonata for Two Violins in e minor, Op. 3, No. 5
    W.A. Mozart Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-Flat Major, K. 493
    Ernest Chausson Concert for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet, Op. 21

    December 14, 2022

    Carnegie Hall

    Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

    Perlman and Friends

    Itzhak Perlman, violin
    Emanuel Ax, piano
    Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
    Juilliard String Quartet

    Jean-Marie Leclair Sonata for Two Violins in e minor, Op. 3, No. 5
    W.A. Mozart Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-Flat Major, K. 493
    Ernest Chausson Concert for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet, Op. 21

    January 12, 2023

    Naples Philharmonic

    Artis-Naples

    BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37

    with Radu Paponiu, conductor

    January 13, 2023

    Naples Philharmonic

    Artis-Naples

    BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37

    with Radu Paponiu, conductor

    January 14, 2023

    Naples Philharmonic

    Artis-Naples

    BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37

    with Radu Paponiu, conductor

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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