At most, 5 minutes, and that’s really too long. A couple of minutes is all that’s needed.
Hola a todos. Unless the artists or ensemble(s) want to play an encore, why is there a need for the ritual of incessant audience applause? And if one intends to play an encore and still feels like playing an encore, just sit down and play it. You don’t need to play this game of “make the audience work for it.” Why make them “work for it?” If they don’t want to hear another short piece which they paid for in the price of the ticket, they can leave, but chances are they won’t.
So musicians should stop all of this game playing and head trips with this, “if you applaud long enough, I’ll eventually play an encore.” So silly and childish really, and nearly all artists plays this silly game. Doesn’t the artist want to play an encore anyway since it’s prepared? Probably. Unless exhausted after playing the Brahms’s First or Second — or both as some pianists (Cristina Ortiz comes to mind) like to do in one concert setting — as two examples. Then stop this damn nonsense and play the damn encore.
Most classical musicians — at least that I’ve worked with — are more mature than these immature and silly traditions created by some nuts generations ago.
What’s the purpose of that ridiculous ritual of the conductor and soloists walking back and forth from the front of the stage to the stage door repeatedly? But these days, when the conductor and or soloists start beating the path to the stage door, once there, they immediately turn around and come back out. Ridiculous, but as expected on cue, per silly tradition. Many things based in tradition make ab-so-lute-ly no sense what-so-ever when you think about it. Instead, if one must go back stage per silly tradition, the conductor and or soloists should stay there off stage for a minute or two and make the audience think they’re not returning. Then unexpectedly come back out, take a few bows, then have the First Concertmaster lead the Orchestra and or Chorus off the stage. That signals to the audience that it’s time to go home now. We know you liked it. Thank you, now go home. You don’t need to spend another 15-30 minutes standing here applauding mindlessly. We’re pretty quick here; we quickly understood that you liked it.
When performances are recorded for U-toob, I’ve noticed that some production crews now stop recording once this ludicrous applause tradition/ritual begins. Apparently production think it’s ridiculous and a grand waste of time as well.
There’s no need to walk back and forth from the front of the stage to the stage door umpteen times for over 20-30 minutes. It’s one of the most ridiculous traditions of the classical music genre.
Another silly tradition is the concert attire. Why is it important for one to sit in a stuffy and uncomfortable starched tux or stuffy black dress to play an instrument? No wonder the classical music genre is dying a slow death considering it still clings to some stupid, silly and ridiculous outdated traditions created generations ago by some conservative nuts, and conservative management agents today continue these insane traditions.
I think about the many times I have performed solo piano works in people’s homes who owned a piano of course. After I played, they applauded for a few seconds, smiled at me and thanked me. I didn’t have to get up from the piano and run to the kitchen or another room out of sight — pretending it’s a stage door — then turn around and walk back out to the living room to the piano and bow repeatedly. I didn’t have to then walk back to the kitchen a second time, stand there and wait for a few seconds, then back out to the piano. No, none of that nonsense was necessary. I just stayed there seated at the piano, or got up from the piano and joined others on the living room furniture, unless I was asked to play something else. So why is it necessary in a Concert Hall setting? None of it is necessary. Instead, it’s mindless ritual that has been brainwashed into most musicians that “this is what you’re supposed to do — according to some nut who started these insane traditions; was that god Franz Liszt too? — at the end of a performance.” Well screw that. End it. Stop it. None of this drivel makes any sense to rational and intelligent people.
Considering this is 2020 and not the 1800s, what musicians should do today is the following: Remain on stage after the performance. Do not leave the stage. Bow occasionally, smile at the audience in appreciation for their applause, thank the other musicians for their role in producing such an outstanding (hopefully) performance. Then play an encore if you want. Then, after that, leave the stage and don’t return. There’s no need to return. Everyone has been gracious, both audience and musicians. The audience will get the message and leave. The dense/thick ones may continue to stay and mindlessly applaud per conservative tradition, but that’s their problem.
But 20-30 minutes of nonstop applause is insane. The audience says, “We liked it.” The musicians then say, “Good. Nice to hear that. Come back again. Fin/The End.” No need for the ritual of 20-30 minutes of applause, which leaves one with tingling hands.
Oh, and while I’m on the topic of outdated — and in this case sexist — traditions, I should point out that when the vocal soloists-screamers consists of two females and two guys, the females in good sexist, chauvinistic style are motioned by the sexist guys to walk off the stage ahead of them, rather than file off the stage in the order they are seated. The guys are seated closest to the stage door so they should proceed first using basic sense and logic. The Chorus files off the Chorus risers in the order they are seated. The Men of the Chorus don’t wait for the sopranos and altos to leave the risers first before they leave, so why are the female vocal soloist-screamers treated in a chauvinistic manner? “Ladies go first” is fucking outdated, chauvinistic and sexist. Chau.—el barrio rosa