Nice story/podcast from my friends at WQXR today lamenting the current state of the encore in classical music. “It’s a failure of imagination and it’s a failure of artistic expression” huffs the critic from The Telegraph.
Chopin’s Nocturne in D flat, Op 27 N. 2, is wheeled out so often it’s a wonder the audience don’t sing along like the crowd at a rugby match. Traumerai, from Schumann’s Kinderszenen, I’ve heard so often it now has no more significance than elevator muzak. And as for [Liszt’s] La Campanella, if I never hear those bells again it will be too soon.
And surprise, surprise, who’s the pianist that bucks the same-old same-old trend for after-dinner treats? Our old friend Marc-André Hamelin of course, who even makes the conventional rather….er…unconventional. Hint: Listen all the way through…
Then’s there’s this “cake-smasher” of Percy Grainger’s arrangement (kinda sorta) of “In Dahomey…” If you can read music, follow along…if you dare!