Poll

How do you feel when people applaud between movements?

Amused
5 (9.8%)
Angered
5 (9.8%)
Irritated
22 (43.1%)
Embarrassed
10 (19.6%)
Nothing
9 (17.6%)

Total Members Voted: 32

Author Topic: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?  (Read 7423 times)

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Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« on: April 13, 2007, 12:57:14 PM »
Attended the first NZSO subscription concert last night which featured Dame Kiri Te Kanawa singing a selection of Mozart and Strauss arias in the first half and Mahlers #4 in the second half. It was a 'celebrity' concert and had been sold out for some time so I'm assuming there were audience members who don't usually attend this sort of performance.

Anyway during the Mahler symphony the audience applauded after both the first and second movements promting my wife to tell the the old guy sitting next to us off  :P ;) ;D They couldn't clap after the third movement 'cause there was no pause leading into the fourth.

Personally I feel Irritated and Embarrassed because it 1. interrupts the 'flow' and 'mood' of the work and 2. it displays an ignorance of concert etiquette and respect to the performers and international conductors and soloists.

Fire away  :)

'I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.' ~ Emily Bronte

hornteacher

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2007, 01:19:25 PM »
Personally I feel Irritated and Embarrassed because it 1. interrupts the 'flow' and 'mood' of the work and 2. it displays an ignorance of concert etiquette and respect to the performers and international conductors and soloists.

Embarrassed because of what you said in #2.

Don Giovanni

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2007, 01:22:37 PM »
Sometimes it doesn't bother me. It certainly does bother me during things like Mahler.

Offline MishaK

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2007, 01:37:15 PM »
It depends. In opera, applause after a particularly good number is standard accepted etiquette. Yet in symphonic repertoire for some reason it is not. Obviously between two attacca movements you can't clap, but otherwise, if the performance merits it, why not? Last Saturday here in Chicago, the audience spontaneously clapped after a fantastic first movement of Mahler's 1st conducted by Dudamel. I thought it was a nice gesture. Of course, if it's just one guy who is doing it out of ignorance in a mediocre performance, it can be irritating. Though I suspect in the case of the Te Kanawa performance mentioned above it was genuine admiration and not so much ignorance. Again, she's primarily an opera singer and in opera, clapping after an aria is completely normal.

BTW, musicians have mixed feelings about this. Some love it, others hate it. Hilary Hahn has been asking this question of every one of her interviewees on her website.

Don Giovanni

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2007, 01:42:37 PM »
I know what you mean about someone 'doing it out of ignorance' (although this wasn't a mediocre performance). At the end of a part of Tosca - a part that wouldn't even be considered a big number (not like 'Vissi d'arte') - some idiot spotaneously started clapping. About two seconds later, after he realised no one was joining him, he stopped suddenly. I thought it very funny to be honest.

Offline jochanaan

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2007, 01:52:28 PM »
It depends on how the movement ends.  Many first movement endings are as exciting and applause-drawing as finale endings; I don't feel applause is out of place there.  But it's nearly always out of place after the last chord of a slow movement evaporates...
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Don Giovanni

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2007, 01:53:41 PM »
I know what you mean, jochanaan. I hate it when people try to be the first to get their applause in.

Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2007, 02:00:48 PM »
Though I suspect in the case of the Te Kanawa performance mentioned above it was genuine admiration and not so much ignorance. Again, she's primarily an opera singer and in opera, clapping after an aria is completely normal.

Yes, I expected it after each of the short arias but during the Mahler symphony?  :o

It depends on how the movement ends.  Many first movement endings are as exciting and applause-drawing as finale endings; I don't feel applause is out of place there.  But it's nearly always out of place after the last chord of a slow movement evaporates...

True, on the odd occasion when this happens its usually after the first movement which, like you say, can have a conclusive sound to the ending which can elicit applause.
'I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.' ~ Emily Bronte

Offline david johnson

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2007, 02:45:06 AM »
concert venues should display a sign reading...'clap all you wish.  the composers, living or dead, want your support and the players have egos.'  ;)

dj

Symphonien

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2007, 03:34:29 AM »
Clapping through ignorance annoys me. Especially when it's during the middle of the music, let alone merely between movements. I really hate it when people have clapped at the end of the exposition, or one or two chords early at the end of a slow piece that ends by fading out... I don't understand why some people are so desperate to clap as soon as the piece is finished anyway! Especially when it's a slow piece, I like to wait a few seconds after it's over just to let the music subside.

As for between movements, I'd say it's ok after the end of a particularly well-performed, conclusive sounding first movement as others have mentioned in this thread so far. But not through ignorance, and more than one additional time is just too distracting.

Offline val

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2007, 04:40:44 AM »
I don't care. And it allows the musicians to rest a little.

But I became irritated, years ago, when, under the frenetic clapping, Franco Corelli started again "Recondita Armonia". One time is enough, PLEEEASE!

Strange thing. I never heard any clapping between Webern's opus 9. Even performed by the LaSalle.

Offline Bunny

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2007, 05:44:16 AM »
Generally, I get irritated by any inappropriate sound that breaks up the flow, and that includes prolonged coughing or sneezing as well applause.  (Those who are choking to death in a concert hall should excuse themselves, go outside, and call for emergency help rather than staying and ruining everything for just about everyone in the hall.)  I infrequently hear applause between movements in the concert hall; when it occurs it's usually during a work that is very unfamiliar to the audience.  However when I was very young, I saw a televised concert in which they had a lot of celebrity soloists doing solos in individual movements after which the audience applauded because the soloist would leave the stage, and another would come out.  That was so much of a break that it seemed almost natural to applaud.  Of course I was so young, I also didn't know any better.

Of course the great exception to this is the opera and ballet, where singers (or dancers) receive their applause as soon as they finish an aria/solo, as well as applause at the end of the acts.  I've even seen dancers taking bows after a particularly great solo or pas de deux to thunderous applause and bravos.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2007, 05:51:21 AM by Bunny »

Steve

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2007, 08:52:53 AM »
I would immediately agree that the answer to this question is hardly universal. Between the first and second movements of a classical period symphony, like that of Hadyn or Mozart, especially if it was of a paricuaily stunning variety, would be tolerable. A more organic piece like that of Mahler or Tchaikovsky would be more than irritating. It would also, I suppose depend upon the nature of the maestro and the solosists highlighted in the particular movement. Some, as it has been previously mentioned here, are less likely to appreciate this sort of applause, while other seem encouraged by it. I would never dream of interrupting Haitnik, but alluding to Gil Shaham's performance of Elgar's Violin Concerto, I found it difficult to keep from applauding his virtuoso effort in the first movement. As with most ill defined matters of ettiquete, it's all subjective.

Offline Bunny

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2007, 10:28:25 AM »
I've been at concerts where there is a spattering of applause between movements which is then ignored by the orchestra (and soloist).  The worst thing about that is that the orchestra has started the next movement during that applause and it really detracts from the music.  I think the rule of thumb would be to wait and see if the conductor pauses for a bow.  If he's not turning around and pausing, then I'm not applauding.

Don

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2007, 10:33:16 AM »
Clapping between movements doesn't bother me regardless of whether it's due to enthusiasm or ignorance.  I have more important things to grouse about.

Offline Valentino

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2007, 12:09:54 PM »
Clapping between movements is not standard etiquette, but when it happens it normally doesn't bother me. Of course sometimes people try to get their hands in between the third and last mvt. of LvB 3, and that can be irritating.

Prolonged coughing (it's always the usual suspecs) is really annoying.
We audiophiles don't really like music, but we sure love the sound it makes

Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2007, 02:23:55 PM »
Prolonged coughing (it's always the usual suspecs) is really annoying.

Who would that be?

Yes, lots of good responses so far. The coughing can be a pain; I notice it offens comes from the back of the hall. Old ladies with boiled sweets in noisey wrappers ::) Babies at classical concerts?! I haven't seen that but I've seen a few restless kids which is annoying because theres kid-specific classical concerts put on where that can make all the noise they want and the parents can still feel pleased because they are still exposing them to higher culture.  ;)
'I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.' ~ Emily Bronte

Offline Novi

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2007, 03:37:26 PM »
Some of those things deserve a little patience. Coughing more than sneezing, and at a certain point you expect the coughers to have to good judgement to excuse themselves. Unforgiveable are talkers, and worstof all are people who bring babies to concerts. Taking a baby to a concert (unless is it a childrens concert or outdoor thing), is like taking a handgrenade to a concert. There is such a likelihood that it will go off, that even if it doesn't, you are distracted by the antiicpation.

Some mother once had the poor judgement to bring her baby to a Tokyo Quartet concert I attended and sit on the front row. The baby began expressing its opinions a few measures into the first movement of one of Beethoven's late quartets. The players stopped and gently asked her to leave. Which bring us back to the main theme of this thread. Was the audience's applause appropriate when the woman left?

Egbdf

Yep. Baby at a performance of the Eroica started protesting from the opening chords.

On another occasion, a toddler snoozed through 3/4 of the St John Passion to then wake up and start hyperventilating. Just as well the guardian (looked like a grandma) ushered him out - and this after a looong period of cajoling and proffering of fruit juice - before my favourite 'Ruht wohl' chorus.
Durch alle Töne tönet
Im bunten Erdentraum
Ein leiser Ton gezogen
Für den der heimlich lauschet.

Offline oyasumi

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2007, 07:04:13 PM »
I'd rather hear babies crying than old people dying.

Offline Bunny

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Re: Does clapping inbetween movements make you feel...?
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2007, 08:30:30 PM »
I'd rather hear babies crying than old people dying.

:o

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