Saturday, January 24, 2009

Moron clapping: whoops! More on clapping.

Sydney Morning Herald Letters to the Editor Thursday, 22nd January, 2009
Mind the claptrap

Manny Ax and Sam Allis are on the money ("Concert pianist with an ax to grind", January 21). Of course we should clap after a stirring moment in a piece of classical music, just as we do after a great sax solo in a jazz concert. Who cares if it is not the official end of the piece?

David McKay Bathurst

I was taught that the pauses between movements were to give the audience an opportunity to applaud, despite what all the rich snobs thought.

David Murphy Campbelltown

Sydney Morning Herald Letters to the Editor Friday, 23rd January, 2009
Sit on your hands, you goose

Shut up and wait until the piece is over (Letters, January 22). Enough is ruined already by fools who just want to clap. The finale of the Trout Quintet is regularly interrupted because there is a bar-and-a-half of silence after a loud passage, and some goose decides to applaud. The despairing opening to the finale of Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony is amplified immeasurably by the raucous conclusion of the scherzo preceding it - at least it is when the audience refrains from inserting a two-minute clapping cadenza between the movements. What next? How about that big gap in the middle of Barber's Adagio For Strings - there's plenty of time for an ovation there.

Perhaps applause freaks such as Manny Ax should put themselves at the service of the music instead of wanting things the other way around. Just because no one is playing, doesn't mean there is no music.

Graeme Gee Telopea

David McKay (Letters, January 22), if you feel like clapping after a stirring moment in a piece of classical music, buy the CD or download it and don't attend the live concert. Then you can clap with impunity without disturbing other members of the audience, most of whom prefer to listen without your ad lib percussion solo.

Jeremy Lysaght Drummoyne

Those who are adamant about applauding between movements are more than welcome to do so, at the Andre Rieu concert of their choice.

Marcus Coleman Kingston (ACT)

Saturday, 24th January, 2009
The clap never bothered Mozart

The stuffy and arcane attitude of some writers towards clapping after movements is out of tune with the expectations of composers (Letters, January 23). Beethoven expected that after a stirring movement the audience would rise to its feet and applaud, and they frequently did. Mozart wrote to his father: "Right in the middle of the first allegro came a passage I knew would please, and the entire audience was sent into raptures - there was a big applauding moment . . . I was so delighted . . ."

It was only in the 20th century that this spontaneity was discouraged. These snobby attitudes and the labelling of perpetrators as fools discourage casual and youthful concert goers. Most musicians and conductors welcome this display of appreciation.

How can we expect children to embrace classical music when this analytical and detached attitude puts the structure of the music above the spontaneity and harmony between the orchestra and audience? Bring on the clapping.

Elizabeth Maher Bangor

It took a day or two for the aficionados to wake up to what was going on, but there they were in all their thundering majesty yesterday, tongue-lashing the impudent premature applauder with words such as "fool" and "goose", and suggesting these people remain in their living rooms. I was so impressed that I started to clap before I read the final letter.

Geoff Baldwin Drummoyne

I applaud people applauding inopportunely at concerts. I take fiendish delight in waiting for applause at the pause in the William Tell Overture, so I can turn to the audience and say "Fooled ya!", before continuing. Let's applaud the fact that people want to show their appreciation - a bit like laughing at a good joke before the punchline because the joke was being told so well.

Greg Ellsmore conductor, Coffs Harbour City Orchestra, Sandy Beach

First the critics find Christopher Wheeldon's ballet for dummies condescending; now the music police tell the great unwashed when not to applaud. Sorry for coming.

Ken Cullen Bathurst

Graeme Gee (Letters January 23), obviously those refraining from applause at times when no one is playing music are the philosophers, attuned to the sound of falling trees in distant forests.

Megan Brock Summer Hill

1 comment:

Webfoot said...

I loved this post, David. What you say makes a lot of sense.

God bless, David,
Mrs. Webfoot :-)