Letter: Magic moments lost in instant applause

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The Independent Online
Sir: Is there an alternative to clapping? Outstanding musical performances invoke an intense desire for instant applause from the audience, nowhere less so than in the Albert Hall at this time of year.

To measure the micro-seconds between the last note of the music and the sounds of appreciation would tax a sophisticated chronometer. And what is the result? The magic of the moment is instantly destroyed by a cacophony of clapping.

In contrast, a recent performance of Faure's Requiem in a small country church was so stunning that at least 10 seconds must have elapsed before the applause began.

Can anything be done to sustain the ecstasy of great music? Should, for instance, the applause be delayed until the conductor's baton is finally dropped? Should the length of the silence, rather than that of the clapping, be the indicator of the quality of the


Who best to think on these things and perhaps come up with a new and lasting answer than the promenaders?

Yours faithfully,


Motcombe, Dorset

24 July