Allegro Molto


I started a blog called Allegro Molto, about life as a pianist and teacher.

I update daily with small tips about the piano and every few days with a bigger article.



Some interesting reading in there, but im not sure I agree with much of the clapping article lol.
Clap when they do a difficult passage, or when they mess up? I couldnt decide if the article was serious or not, but then I read some other articles and decided it must me :open_mouth:

I think people should just clap when they feel like it. If they want to clap in between movements, then so be it. Personally I wouldnt clap when somebody looses their way though, and then finds their way back. It reminds me of that clip from the Tchaikovsky competition where that guy is trying to play the Chopin Etude in 3rds … tink tink tink. lol

The clapping entry wasn’t serious, its a bit of a parody on the WikiHow articles on “how to be a good audience member”…

Although I’m sure it would be great at a rock concert.

Maybe someday, we’ll get to a point where clapping and cheering like that at a concert is acceptable.

Strangely enough that was quite normal in the 19th century.

Well you have some quite interesting articles there, I will read more sometime.
I remember this year here at the proms in the UK there was a debate about clapping in between movements. Some people were apparently appauled by it. I think it was because some people were supposed to be doing it in order to be ‘authentic’ with the times the music was written in.
Clapping when you feel emotional about what you just heard is one thing, but clapping for the sake of it is silly imho.

it was also not unheard of to piece together different movements from different symphonies; how times have changed.

Clapping between movements horrifies me. It makes me feel like the audience is bored and they’d like nothing better than for the end of this movement to be the end of the piece. How hard is it really - just don’t clap until the soloist stands up, or the conductor turns around etc. Or be a good concert-goer and know the music ahead of time so you a) get more enjoyment out of the music and b) clap when you’re supposed to clap.

Does anybody know When this “don’t clap between movements and STFU until the conductor turns around” mentality has taken over the concert halls?

Personally, I think clapping would fit a lot better between movements than the wave of coughing that we mostly hear… And wouldn’t it be nice to get to take part in a true 1913 style concert riot at least once in your lifetyme! :whale:

Well I think the difference between now and then is that then music was entertainment and now it is art. Art is to be respected.

For me, a piece of music - regardless of how many movements it contains - is a singular body of work and it is best heard without interruption.

I think the main problem with clapping in the concert hall today is… well, that it is just clapping. Meaningless banging of your hands together. The dictionary defines “applaud” as “To express approval, especially by clapping”. When you clap “when you are supposed to”, you don’t clap to express approval, you clap because you are supposed to. At the end of a piece, everybody claps, regardless of what they thought about the piece of music or the performance. I try not to clap when I truly don’t like a performance, but I usually fail because it feels so rude not to bang my hands together a couple of times… WTF? Rude? The orchestra was rude by wasting my time with a lousy performance of a crappy piece of music!

Anyway, I wouldn’t want people to clap anytime they feel like it either. There’s nothing I hate more than people making noises while the orchestra is playing. I heard Muraro in Des canyons aux étoiles last week (awesome to the power of seven!!!) and some @s behind me kept whispering to each other about how boring it was throughout the whole first part. Then, lucky for them, they left…

Well you’re right about that. Even worse than that, at almost every concert I’ve been to, the entire audience has given standing ovations. And not the kind of standing ovation where everyone leaps to their feet because there’s no other way to express to pure delight they’re feeling… I mean the kind of standing O where one person gets up and then the peer pressure takes hold, and 2 minutes later, the rest of the audience has finally gotten to their feet as well. I mean what the fuck! Standing ovations are now meaningless to me because everyone gets them. Ridiculous.

For me, applause is not just the mindless act of banging my hands together. If I LOVE a performance, I’m the first one on my feet, but the reverse is also true - if I think a recital is shit, I have no problem walking out half way through and I did just that at the last recital I went to. I hear he got a standing ovation as well.

I don’t actually mind clapping after the first movt in a concerto performance. Listening to the old hofmann broadcasts it happened pretty much every time. In any case it’s preferable to the usual coughing fits that follow the close of a movement. In my town things are worse; people start clapping before the piece is finished (such as during a bar of rest or at a pause) - so embarrassing. It happened during Stephen Hough’s recital last year and he actually put his hand up to stop them. I wanted to sink into my seat and disappear, this was during the Weber Invitation iirc not exactly the most esoteric piece ever, apparently the only piece the audience recognised was the Chopin 64/2! jebus.

Sokolov never wants applause even between pieces he plays, so he looks angrily at the audience for one second and starts playing the next piece.

Its fair enough if the pianist doesnt want it. Schiff had an anouncer come on before his Beethoven recital and requested absolute silence, and no applause between movements or anything, and no coughing. I guess its fair enough, but most people who I spoke to after felt angry and felt he was pretentious. Some of the comments were like, ‘Ohhhhh the master must not be disturbed’, ‘Who does he thing he is to tell me what to do?’
Personally I think Schiff took it a bit far. I have seen it written in programmes too, ‘No clapping between’ movements. I think it should be the audiences right to make that decision, you cant tell somebody how to react to something, or how they should emotionally respond to something.
The Sokolov comment is fair enough I thin, he shows his dissaproval, but not telling people what they cant do.
It reminds me of the Feltsman video recital where after the 1st Chopin Ballade, some people begin to clap, and he puts his hand out in a ‘STOP!’ gesture, then goes on to play the 2nd, then the 3rd, then the 4th in succession. Personally I think they are very powerful works and would have benifited with some light relief between. I love them all, but to sit through all 4 with no pause, I would be emotionally drained! pfftt!

Ok, that’s all fine if you truly believe clapping between movements is actually a reaction to the music… I think it’s the product of an uneducated, bored public who shouldn’t be going to concerts in the first place. But then, I’m a cynic.

I’d just like to point out that, despite evidence to the comments here, this is not a blog about clapping :stuck_out_tongue:

i think it really depends on the context, for eg in the Rach 3rd
sometimes i think it’s acceptable to clap after the first mvt as it really is a piece of its own right (though i prefer the ‘no clapping until the whole thing is done’)

but i would be really upset if someone clap between Chop1st

btw, i haven’t been to a single Tchaikovsky 6th concert where the audience clapped correctly (they all clapped after the zcherzo 3rd mvt)
which is quite unsettling