The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #172068   Message #4163458
Posted By: Hagman
24-Jan-23 - 05:05 PM
Thread Name: Applause Between Movements of a Symphony
Subject: RE: Applause Between Movements of a Symphony
Recently went to a performance of Handel's Messiah, where the audience clapped enthusiastically after every item. The conductor and orchestra were obviously pretty used to it - they went straight on with the next piece, sometimes without waiting for the applause to peter out.

In that particular work, I found it distracting and disconcerting, but that's just me. If it had been a piano sonata or a symphony, I would have been really annoyed. As would, I'm assuming, the performer/s.

Extrapolating the jazz example, where to stop? The first cello does a lot of work in the Messiah - thankfully, there was no applause in the middle of pieces after her excellent work. I know opera has different traditions, but generally the main applause is held back to the end of the act. That feels right to me, as does waiting to the end of a cohesively-constructed musical work in the concert-hall.

I didn't wear a tie, but my hair is pretty short. And yes, if Beethoven had plumbing available, he would have used it. On the other hand, he probably wouldn't have taken a call on his mobile phone while conducting one of his symphonies, assuming his present-day hearing aids would have enabled it.