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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

    February 20, 2020

    Chamber Orchestra of Europe

    BOZAR, Brussels 

    with Matthias Pintscher, conductor

    MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K466
    CHOPIN: Andante spianato et Grande polonaise brillante, Op. 22

    February 22, 2020

    Chamber Orchestra of Europe

    Teatro Romolo Valli, Reggio Emilia

    with Matthias Pintscher, conductor

    MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K466
    CHOPIN: Andante spianato et Grande polonaise brillante, Op. 22

    February 23, 2020

    Chamber Orchestra of Europe

    Teatro Comunale, Ferrara

    with Matthias Pintscher, conductor

    MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K466
    CHOPIN: Andante spianato et Grande polonaise brillante, Op. 22

    February 26, 2020

    Montreal Symphony Orchestra

    Maison symphonique de Montréal

    with Matthias Pintscher, conductor

    MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K466

    February 27, 2020

    Montreal Symphony Orchestra

    Maison symphonique de Montréal

    with Matthias Pintscher, conductor

    MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K466

    March 2, 2020

    Chicago Symphony Orchestra

    Symphony Center

    Emanuel Ax, piano
    Leonidas Kavakos, violin
    Yo-Yo Ma, cello

    ALL-BEETHOVEN PROGRAM
    Piano Trio in c minor, Op. 1, No. 3
    Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 70, No. 2
    Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 97 (Archduke)

    March 3, 2020

    University of Michigan

    Hill Auditorium

    Emanuel Ax, piano
    Leonidas Kavakos, violin
    Yo-Yo Ma, cello

    ALL-BEETHOVEN PROGRAM
    Piano Trio in c minor, Op. 1, No. 3
    Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 70, No. 2
    Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 97 (Archduke)

     

    March 4, 2020

    Carnegie Hall

    Stern Auditorium, New York

    Emanuel Ax, Piano
    Leonidas Kavakos, Violin
    Yo-Yo Ma, Cello

    ALL-BEETHOVEN PROGRAM
    Cello Sonata No. 4 in C Major
    Violin Sonata No. 10 in G Major
    Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 1, No. 3

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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