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It's all about the music, dude! Sit down, relax and listen to some tunes.


" Have you adopted that new fashion for not applauding after movements?".

You have nothing to worry about. As the current generation of classical music listeners dies off, that practice will disappear just as surely as did the woolly mammoth, the sabre tooth cat, or classical listeners themselves.

I have access to a number of different concert venues in the greater Chicago metropolitan area ["greater metropolitan area" denotes the city and its suburbs (or do you say surburbs?)]. Some of them are halls on college campuses. Of those, Northwestern University and The University of Chicago have major college orchestras and interesting halls. Someday I'll be posting my survey of hall acoustics, featuring the resplendently acoustically rich Mandel Hall on the UC campus.

In any case, whether you attend Orchestra Hall, home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, or one of the community orchestras, or especially any of the university halls. you'll hear wild, enthusiastic applause - all the time.

Why? Why??????

Cause - that's what you do when attending any sort of pop/rock concert [so-called*].

The audience applauds when the rock "musicians" walk out on stage. So, audiences start applauding the very split second - and I sure mean split second - an orchestra member saunters out on stage.

You can just feel the audience's bafflement as the rest of the orchestra players slowly shuffle out, with no particular urgency, not bowing or even acknowledging the audience and its applause.

They were expecting what they're used to any rock "concert" [whether it's Barbara Streisand, Keith Urban, Snoop Dog, or The Hell Metal Drifters] - the band comes out, more or less all at once.

Somewhere toward the 20th and the 50th player of the orchestra walking out on stage, the audience gives up, stops applauding, and lets the musicians tune up. They have no idea they're supposed to applaud when the first violinist comes out, nor even when the conductor comes out.

Of course, at the end of every movement of a multi-movement work, they applaud wildly, although, if it's something like the Mahler 3rd, by the time they reach the end of the 5th movement, or Saturn in The Planets, they've finally figured out that they're not in Kansas anymore there at that boring classical "thing".

Inter-movement applause is particularly jarring after a movement that ends tragically or irresolutely, with the resolution still far off. Examples abound, such as the Bruckner 9th, the Tchaikovsky 6th, the Death & The Maiden quartet, and on and on. Here you are, immersed and carried away by the composer's musical discourse, only to be whipsawed out of the spell by the pack of nose-pierced, tattooed, utterly musically uneducated Millennials clapping like braying chimps in jungle [or, for that matter, middle-aged cowntry heros].

It makes no sense to applaud a piece until it's completed. I once attended a Schubert song recital. Obviously, lot's of songs on the program. The audience of geniuses broke into applause after each damn song. Finally, the soprano stopped the recital and sternly instructed the audience to hold their applause until the end. She was much kinder than I would've been.

* Pop/rock performances are definately performances, but more like performance art than actual concerts of music. Theater plays as great role as the so-called music. In the case of today's EDM, where everything's pre-recorded and it's all lip-synced, the "music" hardly matters at all. The most important elements are dancing, more-or-less sexually explicit gyrations, the stage set, and the costumes, or lack thereof.

Edit - forgot to attach the Mandel Hall foto.
Severius! Supremus Invictus

Edits: 03/16/17

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