Memorable encores

November 27, 2007 at 06:38 PM · When Alina Ibragimova performed Shostakovich Concerto #1 at our local concert hall (Perth, Scotland) she left the audience stunned (and a pile of bow hair on the stage). Rapturous applause demanded an encore, and I expected some spectacular virtuoso piece. Instead she played the Andante from Bach's Sonata in A Minor, slowly, with all the repeats. Absolutely entrancing, and for me just one of those magical moments. What were yours?

Replies (22)

November 27, 2007 at 07:29 PM · I heard Christian Tetzlaff give a wonderful performance of the Berg Concerto with Philly followed by a most moving Bach C major third movement.

November 27, 2007 at 08:35 PM · On the front row at the Wigmore Hall for a Josef Suk recital of Dvorak, Janacek, Suk, finished off with a couple of extra "songs" along the same lines, very movingly played - wonderful violinist.

November 27, 2007 at 08:33 PM · Around 1957 or '58, Orchestra Hall, Chicago, first U.S. tour by Leonid Kogan, a recital. I think it was an encore and not part of the program. It was Sarasate's Caprice Basque. Think of the greatest performance you've ever heard of it (in person or on recordings). Now multiply that by 1,000. After all these decades, the sound of that performance still rings in my ears.


November 27, 2007 at 08:51 PM · Kavakos just played a stunning first movement of Ysaye 5 after Bartok 2 here in Hamburg last night. I listened to every single performance of that sonata during last the QE competition, and this blew them all away!

November 27, 2007 at 09:56 PM · Yuri Bashmet's Bach G major Sarabande following the Bartok Concerto with the London Symphony earlier this month was close to the top. It was definitely the most successful attempt I have ever heard to bring acute awareness of period performance practice to a modern instrument in a full-size hall (the Barbican)-- and it was excruciatingly beautiful.

The next thing that comes to mind is the encore in a performance by Menahem Pressler, Peter Zazofsky, and Mike Reynolds-- but I can't remember what it was!

November 27, 2007 at 10:20 PM · Oistrakh playing the Ysaye Ballade after a concert in Philadelphia, circa 1971.

November 27, 2007 at 10:48 PM · Greetings,

on youtube Zimmerman plays the God Save the Queen Variations after the Thciak I think...



November 27, 2007 at 11:00 PM · Christian Tetzlaff playing the Andante from the A Minor Sonata with the Houston Symphony in 1994. Not a word, yawn, cough...the man was accomplishing his destiny.

November 27, 2007 at 11:27 PM · Rachel barton pine playing her own composition INTRODUCTION, THEME, AND VARIATIONS ON "GOD DEFEND NEW ZEALAND" after mozart 4 with the fox valley symphony.

I wish she would upload a recording of this on Youtube. It is quite spectacular.

November 27, 2007 at 11:22 PM · Hahn played Erlkonig flawlessly after Dvorak concerto with Cleveland

November 28, 2007 at 12:16 AM · Leonidas Kavakos played a Turina guitar piece after performing Bartok's second concerto with the Boston Symphony. I was sitting in the 4th row and was nearly put in a trance by this beautiful song. About halfway through the piece I realized that he was pulling off an unbelievably virtuosic feat. He was playing with a bowing that I still have not totally figured out. I had simply not realized until I noticed some of the members of the orchestra nearly laughing with astonishment I think it was similar to the famous Paganini 5 bowing but I just could not discern it though I was sitting in the 4th row. All the while, he was playing his beautiful phrases and lines as if nothing was happening. It was really remarkable.

November 28, 2007 at 01:07 AM · Josh,

I'm pretty jealous. I saw Kavakos do Brahms in montreal and it was beyond spectacular, transcendental even. He has incredible things to offer musically, not to mention that he might possibly be the most technically gifted violinist ever. He can change gears at the drop of a hat. I've never seen a violinist so willing to forgo self indulgent virtuosity, even in a piece that is in at of itself, very virtuosic. Some of his Ysaye sonatas are very much how he plays Bach and Mozart.

James Ehnes played a great encore in Montreal, Intro and Terrantelle - Sarasate, it was really amazing. The intro was really beautiful.

November 28, 2007 at 01:29 AM · Greetings,

>he might possibly be the most technically gifted violinist ever.

Yes. I think that is possible too...



November 28, 2007 at 04:21 AM · Pieter Wispelwey encoring with Bach's suite #6 for solo cello at Wooddale in Eden Prairie, Minnesota in 2004, I think it was. He usually plays this Bach piece with an authentic five-string cello, as it was written for by Bach, but Wispelwey said he left his his five-string cello back in Netherlands and so would make the best of it with his four-sting cello. Wow! I can still hear him breathing, swaying and possessed, as he masterly played the piece.

Jude, speaking of your comment, I read a rave review of Bashmet's performance in London you mentioned. I was lucky enough to see him perform here in Eden Prairie just over a month ago. He can really coax a tone from his viola, which is nearly identical to Mozart's viola (which Bashmet also was the first to play since Mozart).

November 28, 2007 at 03:04 AM · "he might possibly be the most technically gifted violinist ever."

that or he worked the hardest

November 28, 2007 at 04:28 AM · Greetings,

hard work has a point of no returns which is the optimum level of your talent. I worked much harder than him to get nowhere...;)



November 28, 2007 at 05:12 AM · thats probably becaus he ate his prunes regularly..

November 28, 2007 at 06:02 AM · almost certainly.

November 28, 2007 at 06:06 AM · Menuhin playing the Chaconne at the University of Chicago chapel in 1969. I think his tone is still reverberating there.

(This is the same chapel that Severn Darden, the brilliant comic actor, ran into when he was chased by campus police following some outrageous stunt he pulled. Severn threw open the doors, ran up to the pulpit and as the cops came running in, jumped up on it and yelled, "SANCTUARY!")

November 28, 2007 at 07:14 AM · This isn't exactly an encore, but it's close. My ex-husband and I went to a concert at the Kennedy Center when it was snowing. Snow makes drivers in Washington DC panic and forget how to drive or just stay inside. Yehudi Menuhin was supposed to conduct an orchestra there that night. He was there on time, but the orchestra members came in one or two at a time, slowly, and very late. My ex told me to volunteer to play in the orchestra (haha). Finally Menuhin came out with his violin and said that he would play something for us while we waited for the orchestra. He played the Chaconne, and I was blown away. He played it so beautifully. I felt so lucky to be there.

November 28, 2007 at 01:24 PM · Hey, Alan: I remember that story about Severn Darden. I saw him many, many times at Second City when they were first getting started. Darden was the funniest comedian (humorist? monologist? comic actor? improvisor?) I have ever seen. It's too bad his career never blossomed the way it should have. In today's world of stand-up comedy and improv, he'd be at the top.


November 28, 2007 at 10:52 PM · That is such a wonderful story, Pauline. Thanks for sharing.

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