What's in an Encore?

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Friday, April 02, 2010

One of the most anticipated--and sometimes even most surprising--parts of any musical recital or concert is the encore.

In this week's Arts File on WQXR, Kerry Nolan disects encores with Anne Midgette, classical music critic for The Washington Post. Midgette weighs in on the audience member's role in the encore, on its spontaneity, and on the critic's role in reviewing a show's encore. Midgette also shares her favorite encore with Kerry Nolan.

What's your favorite encore? Post it in a comment below. And for more on the subject, click here to read Anne Midgette's Washington Post blog post on encores. Or, click on the video below to see a performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff's "Prelude in C Sharp Minor," which he used to play as an encore to end his recitals.


Anne Midgette

Produced by:

Abbie Fentress Swanson

Comments [5]

Larry S King

I report two encores of note-- one recent and one long ago, both at Carnegie Hall: Several weeks ago the Minnesota Orchestra and a famous Finnish male choir, under Osmo Vanska, capped a stunning performance of Sibelius Kullervo with the most exhilarating rendition of Finlandia I've ever heard. The hall was well populated with Finns who were humming and singing along. Hair raising! The long ago encore was the American Symphony Orchestra under Stowkoski, performing the final scene of Gotterdamerung with Birgit Finnila (sp?). They repeated the entire scene--double heaven!

Apr. 10 2010 10:36 AM
David Hawkins from Brooklyn NY

I remember with special pleasure three encores: one was the Chicago Symphony's doing Wagner's overture to the Flying Dutchman; the other two were completely unexpected, given the nature of the programs. Peter Serkin, after a performance of Beethoven's Hammerklavier sonata, let us down gently with a Beethoven bagatelle. John Eliot Gardner, after Israel in Egypt, gave us Zadok the Priest, the anthem that has been used in every British coronation since 1727.

Apr. 07 2010 06:05 PM
Brenda Kean Tabor from Washington, D.C.

At Washington Performing Arts Society's concert at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, which took place shortly before the Carnegie Hall performance, Dmitri Hvorostovsky's encore was Nochen’ka, a Russian Folk Song. Sondra Radvanovsky's encore was also stunning.

Apr. 05 2010 01:30 PM

The encore was Nochenka. It's on his Dark Eyes CD

Apr. 02 2010 05:19 PM
Victoria List from New Jersey

This morning Anne Midgette mentioned Dmitri Hvorostovsky's Russian a capella encore. I was at his Carnegie Hall concert when he sang this. It gave me chills, and I shall never forget it. I emailed his website, asking what it was, and never got a response.

Could you please tell me what the song was--and if he ever recorded it? I would buy it in a flash!

Apr. 02 2010 08:56 AM

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