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Does Rachmaninoff Touch Your Heart?
Today, with smartwatches and everyday electronics, it is increasingly common to measure training results, heart rate, calorie consumption, and overall health. But monitoring heart rate of pianists and audience can reveal interesting insights on several other aspects within the musical field. Read more >>

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Offline m1469

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on: August 09, 2005, 12:47:31 AM
I am just curious, have been for a while.  I mean, what if somebody in the audience were in grave danger ?  OR what about an Earthquake ?   A bloody nose  ;) ?  he he

I have heard that one should keep going no matter what, even with cieling tiles falling from the cieling and the lights going out.

Also, if the recital hall happens to be located next to a street and vehicles with sirens drive burning by one after another, what do you do ? 


m1469
"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline prometheus

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #1 on: August 09, 2005, 12:54:23 AM
If you think it is ok to stop it is. You are the performer. You are in power. You descide. The audience has to submit to you, not the other way around.
"As an artist you don't rake in a million marks without performing some sacrifice on the Altar of Art." -Franz Liszt

Offline Etude

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #2 on: August 09, 2005, 01:58:45 AM
Maybe if you injure your hand while playing it would be a good time to stop. 

Offline orlandopiano

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #3 on: August 09, 2005, 02:49:32 AM
I once cut short Chopin's Scherzo #1 in performance because I was feeling faint. Stopped right in the middle of it, apologized to the audience, and walked away.

Offline steinwaym

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #4 on: August 09, 2005, 03:17:00 AM
I am just curious, have been for a while.  I mean, what if somebody in the audience were in grave danger ?  OR what about an Earthquake ?   A bloody nose  ;) ?  he he

I have heard that one should keep going no matter what, even with cieling tiles falling from the cieling and the lights going out.

Also, if the recital hall happens to be located next to a street and vehicles with sirens drive burning by one after another, what do you do ? 


m1469

In my recent performance of the Schubert B-flat Sonata, some punk-ass kid farted during the coda at the end of the first movement. what?

I once cut short Chopin's Scherzo #1 in performance because I was feeling faint. Stopped right in the middle of it, apologized to the audience, and walked away.

No respect.

Offline thalberg

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #5 on: August 09, 2005, 03:18:29 AM
If you feel uncomfortable with stopping and you feel the audience is being disruptive, I recommend a middle ground---glaring at the audience as you continue to play.

Offline teresa_b

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #6 on: August 09, 2005, 11:17:31 AM
I was at a performance of Beethoven's 5th PC with Emmanuel Ax.  An elderly woman passed out in the third row of the audience, and had to be carried out of the auditorium.  Ax and the orchestra continued playing ( during the 2nd movement, no less) throughout, and never stopped.  I couldn't believe it, and I was too distracted to enjoy the rest of the concerto.  Stopping out of respect for this poor lady would have been the right thing, and starting the second movement again would have allowed everyone to relax and enjoy it.

All the best, Teresa

Offline Siberian Husky

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #7 on: August 09, 2005, 11:28:14 AM
If you feel uncomfortable with stopping and you feel the audience is being disruptive, I recommend a middle ground---glaring at the audience as you continue to play.

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Offline mound

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #8 on: August 09, 2005, 12:32:55 PM
Not exactly the same, but reminds me of a jazz performer I went to see once in a very small room. They were burning, this woman was singing away, sounding great. For about half an hour she put up with this couple, sitting in the front row, talking away loudly, as if they were completely oblivous to the fact that there was a performance happening, and everybody else in the room was being quiet. Finally, the singer said "stop stop stop" to the band, looked the girl of the couple right in the eyes and said "if you're not going to shut the @!?#$ up, get the !@#?$ out".. the audience erupted in applause!

that is a good time to stop in the middle :)

Offline shasta

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #9 on: August 09, 2005, 03:49:12 PM
I've been to several concerts that have stopped, each with varying reasons:

1.  An orchestra was performing a clarinet concerto, and during the performance some air conditioner in the concert hall exploded. I mean, EXPLODED.  The entire audience jumped but the orchestra kept going.  Unfortunately, the audience was so buzzed and chatty and distracted, so the conductor stopped his orchestra.  Unfortunately, the soloist kept going for a bit until he realized they'd stopped.  After the audience chilled, the conductor picked it up again from the beginning of that movement.

2.  Chamber music recital at Carnegie Hall (one of the Isaac Stern festivals), and they were doing Mendelssohn's C minor piano trio.  One of the violinists broke a string with <2 min to go until the end!  Everyone immediately stopped and she ran off stage to restring.  Once she came back (it was a LONG wait), they restarted that movement.

3.  Piano recital by a former Intl Chopin Comp. winner.  He had started the piece (one of the Scriabin sonatas?) and wasn't even 30sec into in when he stopped, apologized, laughed hysterically, then restarted.  ??
"self is self"   - i_m_robot

Offline Dazzer

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #10 on: August 09, 2005, 05:47:02 PM
If you feel uncomfortable with stopping and you feel the audience is being disruptive, I recommend a middle ground---glaring at the audience as you continue to play.



sounds like something Koji would do... hahaha :D

Offline xvimbi

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #11 on: August 09, 2005, 07:19:01 PM
In my recent performance of the Schubert B-flat Sonata, some punk-ass kid farted during the coda at the end of the first movement. what?

Was that a reaction to your playing or to some bad food? ;D

Offline prometheus

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #12 on: August 09, 2005, 08:49:42 PM
3.  Piano recital by a former Intl Chopin Comp. winner.  He had started the piece (one of the Scriabin sonatas?) and wasn't even 30sec into in when he stopped, apologized, laughed hysterically, then restarted.  ??

The audience had no sense of humor?
"As an artist you don't rake in a million marks without performing some sacrifice on the Altar of Art." -Franz Liszt

Offline chromatickler

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #13 on: August 09, 2005, 08:54:28 PM
3.  Piano recital by a former Intl Chopin Comp. winner.  He had started the piece (one of the Scriabin sonatas?) and wasn't even 30sec into in when he stopped, apologized, laughed hysterically, then restarted.  ??
hahaha garrick ohlssohn?

Offline AvoidedCadence

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #14 on: August 09, 2005, 09:10:40 PM
My teacher was once playing the Ginastera sonata - I believe he said it was somewhere in Khazakstan, back in the Soviet era.  During the slow movement, there was a minor, but not insignificant earthquake.  My teacher continued playing, but noticed much of the audience leaving the hall.  He learned afterwards that in that area, dangerous aftershocks may follow minor earthquakes, and the audience was leaving for fear of the building collapsing.

The cello teacher at my school once told this story:  He was in a major competition in South America, playing the Schumann cello concerto.  He snapped a string in the middle, and the competition apologized as he went off stage to repair and re-tune before continuing.  Unfortunately, the new string stretched, and went more and more flat throughout the rest of the concerto.  He now says that he should have stopped the orchestra and re-tuned as often as necessary.  While this isn't really directly applicable to pianists (when Horowitz broke strings, a tuner rushed onto the stage and cut it out), his message was that YOU, not the audience, control the performance.  Obviously, if you are having a bad day or a memory problem, you should continue - nothing looks worse than stopping and apologizing.  But if your instrument, the audience, or your health are seriously problematic, it's a different story.  (If you aren't feeling well, though, I think it's in better taste to cancel in advance than to announce that you are too ill to continue).  I don't know whether it's better to restart the whole movement or start from the last "rehearsal" - I guess it depends whether you are playing with an orchestra, and how long the movement is, where you are, how long the pause was, etc.

On the other hand, don't pull a Simon Barere and die during a concerto performance.  (Or maybe this is a good way to go - just make sure you finish the last solo bit first ;) )
Always play as though a master listened.
 - Robert Schumann

Offline Jacey1973

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #15 on: August 09, 2005, 09:31:22 PM
My composition lecturer told me that pianist Martin Jones came on stage began a Beethoven sonata (not sure which one), stopped half way through the 3rd movement, laughed then apologised to the audience saying "i'm sorry i just can't remember it", goes off stage returns with the score and carries on playing!

Nice to know even professionals have memory lapses somtimes...(well it doesn't make me feel as bad!)
"Mozart makes you believe in God - it cannot be by chance that such a phenomenon arrives into this world and then passes after 36 yrs, leaving behind such an unbounded no. of unparalled masterpieces"

Offline pianohopper

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #16 on: August 10, 2005, 01:46:05 AM
a related story:

I just played in a small recital on Monday, at a retirement community.  To get the full impact of the scene, I must describe the "stage," which wasn't raised at all.  The performance was actually in a common-area/hallway with a bar.  The piano was jammed in a corner and the wheels stuck on those plastic cup-holder-like brakes, so it couldn't be moved out.  Then, a few feet to the left of the piano (the audience's left, pianist's right), was a set of French doors leading outside.  The audience had a straight view down the path that went through the grounds. 

The first performer was a violinist -- short, asian (although that is redundant), and 11 years old.  He was in the middle of a Bach partita (which he did not play particularly well), when we see in the distance this old geezer limping down the sidewalk.  He cannot see the piano, but he probably can see the violinist and the audience. 

He is growing closer and closer, the violinist is still playing...He takes out his key-card and swipes it, the door clicks open, and he walks right through the "stage", past the audience, and down the hall the other way.

I'm trying not to laugh, and the kid keeps on playing.
"Today's dog in the alley is tomorrow's moo goo gai pan."  ~ Chinese proverb

Offline jeremyjchilds

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #17 on: August 10, 2005, 02:57:11 PM
I was at a Beethoven concerto with Anton Keurti playing.

He stopped between movements and ran down to the front row and scolded some kids who were throlong and retireving paper airplanes, and then returned to the piano....
"He who answers without listening...that is his folly and his shame"    (A very wise person)

Offline gorbee natcase

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #18 on: August 10, 2005, 06:09:57 PM
WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(
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Offline whynot

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #19 on: August 10, 2005, 06:56:51 PM
Very funny, m1469!  I will never live this down-- I did finish the song, by the way.  I completely agree with Teresa about stopping if someone in the audience is ill.  If she was near the front, I like to think I'd be one of the first people to run over and help, not the person who decided the show must go on no matter who's falling down or having a heart attack or whatever.  When the ill person has been helped, the soloist can announce that the person is all right, then re-start.  That situation could have been handled with grace and kindness.           

Offline invictus

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #20 on: August 11, 2005, 07:29:13 AM
1) I was once playing The FLight of the Bumble bee arr. Rach, it was down into the transistion, then i stopped, laughed very loudly, while the audience stared at me, mystified,  then i ran out of the hall and away

2) Playing a long sonata by Beethoven, then suddenly, the air-conditioning was screwed up and started choking and them 1 by 1, they all failed, the audience glared at the air con, i still sat in the seat playing the bits and pieces, while played 12 wrong notes in succession, then this dude threw up into a woman's purse.

Offline jalgor

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #21 on: August 11, 2005, 11:55:32 AM
If you have diarrhea and you need to go bathroom.

 8)

Offline abell88

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #22 on: August 11, 2005, 04:34:07 PM
If you're conducting a choir and the accompanist misses the transition chords for a modulation but goes into the new key...and the choir does not...you definitely should start over. I didn't  -- I kept thinking the choir would actually listen to the pianist and realize they were wrong :P

Offline invictus

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #23 on: August 12, 2005, 03:38:49 AM
You should never stop in a performance, thats the golden rule for me, even if there is a terrorist that comes in and robs the steinway away  :o , you should at least finish the piece and give them the steinway
If the ceiling falls in, duck and contrinue playing, if the conductor falls of the stage, still, go on, you will lead them, or at least the concertmaster would
If the piano keys start getting stuck together due to humidity, well, keep on playing even though its becoming comtemporary lol

And always sit in your seat, dont leave from it unless you have finished a piece to take applause and bow

Offline nicolaievich

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #24 on: August 19, 2005, 02:04:35 AM
during my first public performance i played a ginastera's dance, and on the middle of the piece i just forgot the rest of the piece, i was pretty nervous, i apologized and i started the piece again, and that next time was succesful  ::)

Offline Bouter Boogie

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Re: When is it *okay* to stop in the middle of a performance ?
Reply #25 on: August 19, 2005, 03:28:30 PM
I think I would continue playing, though.. Unless someone warns me to stop :P But I really don't know what to do, it never happens to me ;D
"The only love affair I have ever had was with music." - Maurice Ravel
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