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When did the "silent concert" tradition start? (Read 830 times)

Offline cuberdrift

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When did the "silent concert" tradition start?
« on: July 15, 2016, 04:17:05 AM »
Hello everyone!

I'd like to ask you if any of you know about the history of the "silent concert" tradition in Western Classical music.

I have nothing immediately against this rule, but sometimes I think it would be great if people actually responded to the music going on. I'd imagine myself getting more inspired if the people somehow showed that they liked what was going on. I think this "silent concert" thing makes music boring. It's like whatever the piece you play, it's all the same for them - it's "classical piano", period. It doesn't matter whether the piece is this mood, or that, or if it impressed them or not.  >:(

Come on. Music must be "alive". I want to at least see that it's making people more "alive" or "excited" inside. I find it annoying and frustrating when even in the situations of greatest virtuosity and passion, people don't seem affected.

This I have to rant without saying that I don't appreciate people respecting and admiring classical music, however. I am totally grateful for this fact and I enjoy getting the "respect" from people just because I play the piano.

Well, if there might be any drawbacks to people demonstrating their response to the music at hand, maybe it would be that other listeners might get distracted.

Well, what do you think?

Offline brogers70

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Re: When did the "silent concert" tradition start?
«Reply #1 on: July 15, 2016, 11:55:19 AM »
I remember a German performance of the St Matthew Passion at the end of which the audience was completely silent for two full minutes. Doesn't sound like much time, but in that situation it feels like a very long time. It was beautiful.

I'm not sure I would like to go to an opera in which the crowd shouted raucous approval of vocal skills and demanded the conductor stop and repeat a successful aria on the spot, even though that was, I guess, common practice for many years in the 19th century.

Offline louispodesta

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Re: When did the "silent concert" tradition start?
«Reply #2 on: July 15, 2016, 10:41:22 PM »
Hello everyone!

I'd like to ask you if any of you know about the history of the "silent concert" tradition in Western Classical music.

I have nothing immediately against this rule, but sometimes I think it would be great if people actually responded to the music going on. I'd imagine myself getting more inspired if the people somehow showed that they liked what was going on. I think this "silent concert" thing makes music boring. It's like whatever the piece you play, it's all the same for them - it's "classical piano", period. It doesn't matter whether the piece is this mood, or that, or if it impressed them or not.  >:(

Come on. Music must be "alive". I want to at least see that it's making people more "alive" or "excited" inside. I find it annoying and frustrating when even in the situations of greatest virtuosity and passion, people don't seem affected.

This I have to rant without saying that I don't appreciate people respecting and admiring classical music, however. I am totally grateful for this fact and I enjoy getting the "respect" from people just because I play the piano.

Well, if there might be any drawbacks to people demonstrating their response to the music at hand, maybe it would be that other listeners might get distracted.

Well, what do you think?
I recommend (as I have many times before)  the book, "After the Golden Age: Romantic Pianism and Modern Performance," by Dr. Kenneth Hamilton, of the University of Cardiff.  He is the Head of School of Music, Dean (International) for College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Dr. Hamilton is an applied musicologist (one who performs) that is the very first person to address the so-called evolution of how the piano was played in the 19th century and then "progressed" until today.  He can be reached at (please reference my name) at http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/experts/professor-kenneth-hamilton/.

In his NY Times reviewed book, he spends an immense amount of time/text on not only concert practices of the 19th century, but also (per your OP) the audience participation aspect of this period.  In short, not only did the audience applaud after every movement, they usually talked during the performance, just as they do today.

Please obtain a copy of his book at your local library or Amazon.  You will not be disappointed.

And, do no hesitate to contact him personally, later on.  He is most generous in this capacity.

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: When did the "silent concert" tradition start?
«Reply #3 on: July 15, 2016, 10:56:35 PM »
I recommend (as I have many times before)  the book, "After the Golden Age: Romantic Pianism and Modern Performance," by Dr. Kenneth Hamilton, of the University of Cardiff.  He is the Head of School of Music, Dean (International) for College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Dr. Hamilton is an applied musicologist (one who performs) that is the very first person to address the so-called evolution of how the piano was played in the 19th century and then "progressed" until today.  He can be reached at (please reference my name) at http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/experts/professor-kenneth-hamilton/.

In his NY Times reviewed book, he spends an immense amount of time/text on not only concert practices of the 19th century, but also (per your OP) the audience participation aspect of this period.  In short, not only did the audience applaud after every movement, they usually talked during the performance, just as they do today.

Please obtain a copy of his book at your local library or Amazon.  You will not be disappointed.


Seconded. It is an excellent and well-researched book.