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V.com weekend vote: The last time you gave a standing ovation, why did you?

The Weekend Vote

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Published: April 25, 2014 at 6:18 PM [UTC]

Have you ever been in one of those situations where everyone around you is giving a standing ovation for a performance that you just did not feel was worth a standing ovation?

And what did you do, did you stand, or did you sit there in conspicuous disapproval?

It's a real conundrum, in a day when people will stand and applaud for nearly anything. And sometimes, it's not a matter of disliking the performance as it is a feeling that the performance did not rise to some kind of exceptional height that would require exceptional applause. Because a standing ovation is supposed to be for something that isn't just good, but it's exceptionally good. Isn't it?

And then of course, there are the times when the performance really IS exceptional.

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So the last time you participated in a standing ovation, was it because you truly felt the performance was worthy, or was it because everyone else was standing and so you stood, too? Be honest, now!


From Yixi Zhang
Posted on April 25, 2014 at 6:37 PM
I know standing ovation is really a personal thing. I tend to do a lot and often among the firsts and don’t care what other feel, and occasionally I would just sit there when everyone else stood up. My reasons for standing ovation are more than just exceptional performance. Some musicians I love and I just want to show that even though their performance that day may or may not their best but if they've given all they could and I enjoyed all sorts of moments regardless, I want to show my appreciation by standing up. My husband on the other hand, stands up only when he is extremely impressed by the performance.

It may also be a cultural thing, as I also find people in North America tend to give standing ovations a lot more than those concert goers in some big European cities such as Vienna, Prague, Paris, etc.

From 66.44.40.247
Posted on April 25, 2014 at 6:42 PM
Sometimes it's not just the performer(s) who merit a standing O. I have stood after very good readings underperformed masterworks, Sacre, Mandarin, Musik for Strings, Percussion & Celeste, because it is so good to hear them live, and my strong conviction that they should be played as frequently as any other pieces in the canon.
From Richard Watson
Posted on April 25, 2014 at 6:50 PM
I have given the standing O for very good readings of underperformed masterworks, e.g. Sacre, Mandarin, Musik for Strings, Percussion and Celeste, because it's so good to hear them live and my strong conviction that they should be played as frequently as any pieces in the canon. Sorry for the repost; I wasn't logged in the first time and thought it did not work.
From Anne Horvath
Posted on April 25, 2014 at 7:54 PM

The last time I gave a standing o was about 20 years ago, for Starker.


From Emma Otto
Posted on April 25, 2014 at 8:09 PM
At the most recent performance I was at, I played in the first half and then watched the second half. At the very end, there was a huge standing ovation, and the audience kept the soloist and conductor walking across the stage for several minutes.

Personally, I thought the performance was good; nothing super spectacular, but well done. However, I voted that I thought they deserved it because I was mainly clapping for the conductor. It was his first apperance as the official new conductor of the orchestra, and I thought he did an amazing job conducting us.

From Randy Walton
Posted on April 25, 2014 at 9:23 PM
My last standing o was for James Ehnes and he totally deserved it. I was the first to stand for his encore: Largo from Bach's Sonata #3 for solo violin.
From Mark Roberts
Posted on April 25, 2014 at 11:23 PM
I must be a grumpy, I think that I rarely give a standing ovation, perhaps the last time was julia fischer in the wigmore hall; I usually think that ovation standing or otherwise at the end of a concert is just people clapping themselves.
From Paul Deck
Posted on April 26, 2014 at 12:48 AM
The Standing O seems to have become commonplace, which diminishes its value. But, the last performance at which this occurred was the Talich Quartet, and they are phenomenal. They played an evening of music by Czech composers and, for an encore, Piazzolla!

However, if the performance was ordinary I do not rise with the others, unless it is a relatively intimate venue and I am known to the performer.

From Richard Watson
Posted on April 26, 2014 at 1:22 AM
I too gave Julia Fischer (and friends) a standing o in Wigmore a few years back for a thrilling reading of the Sitkovetsky transcription of the Goldberg Variations and was asked to sit down by a couple a few rows back. I wish I had replied that I thought Brits stood in the presence of royalty.
From Trevor Jennings
Posted on April 27, 2014 at 12:45 AM
I cannot vote on this because, strange to relate, I have never been in the audience at a concert where there has been a standing ovation. On the other hand, I have played in concerts where there has been a standing ovation. Being the orchestra, we of course stand up anyway to acknowledge the audience.
From Christina C.
Posted on April 27, 2014 at 2:26 AM
Less than 24 hours ago I was listening to Hilary Hahn in recital. Can you guess how I voted?

On the other hand,I will admit that I sometimes find myself giving a standing ovation for a very-good-but-not-exceptional performance by internationally known visiting performers or ensembles because I appreciate that they've come to my city & I hope they'll want to return in the future

I've been noticing that the standing ovation is more common in North America than Europe.

From 50.131.164.112
Posted on April 27, 2014 at 5:34 AM
Augustine Hadelich with the Nashville Symphony--the then unknown violinist basically blew everyone's minds. Then he came and just nailed the Beethoven and Paganini Caprice 24 with the SF Symphony. I basically jumped out of my seat after both performances, as did much of the crowd.
From John Cadd
Posted on April 27, 2014 at 9:04 AM
A long time ago in the Albert Hall the musicians walked on stage and the applause began straight away . Spontaneously we all began clapping. David and Igor Oistrakh were on stage . A lovely moment .
From John Cadd
Posted on April 27, 2014 at 9:04 AM
A long time ago in the Albert Hall the musicians walked on stage and the applause began straight away . Spontaneously we all began clapping. David and Igor Oistrakh were on stage for the Bach Double Concerto . A lovely moment .
From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on May 2, 2014 at 3:05 AM
I read that the etiquette is that if you don't feel the performance was truly worth a standing ovation, but also don't want appear openly critical, you should stand but not applaud. I often do that. Then again, I don't like crowds, so I like to leave quickly after the concert is over. I get a head start if I'm already standing.

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