Hold Your Applause

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There was a time when musicians were considered peons on the social ladder and great composers remained anonymous. Both performer and composer were servants to aristocrats or the church. Applauding their craft was radical and perhaps even sacrilege. These days, audiences heartily applaud great performances across sacred and secular mediums. While I enjoy hearing live music and applauding inspired performances, some music is just better without applause.

I'd much rather hear a boisterous applause after the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto or Brahms’s First Piano Concerto than, say, at the end of Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Arvo Part’s Mirror in the Mirror, Leontyne Price singing a mournful spiritual or many of J.S. Bach's fugues and choral pieces.

Is there music you think deserves a groan, collective sigh or another form of appreciation beyond the standard applause?