Something wonderful in Andrew Druckenbrod’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette piece on applause…and no, not simply what he and various Pittsburgh Symphony musicians say about how people in the audience should feel free to clap between movements. And maybe even during the music.
No, what struck me even more was Andy’s many links to musical examples, which bring to life so many things he talks about. He even includes both live and studio recordings of “Un beldi,” from Madama Butterfly, to show what happens when people applaud over the orchestral postlude. And this is his idea. It’s not a Post-Gazette policy, but rather something Andy does on his own, because he thinks — and of course he’s right — that it’s helpful to his readers. Note that it’s a fair amount of extra work (as I know very well, because I’ve put music online myself). But he does it anyway. Give him the hero of the day award, for making online music writing far more vivid. And no, I don’t think he’s the only person doing this, but he might be the only newspaper critic doing it regularly with online versions of his published pieces.
If anybody else does it regularly, please let me know, and you’ll get a hero of the day award, too!
(Full disclosure. Andy once wrote a very friendly profile of me. But I’d praise anyone who did what he’s doing. And in fact I found out about, not from him — and not even from the ArtsJournal link — but because one of my students e-mailed me about the piece because of what it said about applause.)