LETTER : Premature appreciation

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The Independent Online
From Mr Tim Murray

Sir: Far worse than the applause that preceded the last movement of Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony (letter, 29 July) was that which followed it. Often when I take the trouble to join Peter Kettle and his band of Prommers, I am joined by those who insist on bursting into applause a split-second after the music has finished, on this occasion destroying the atmosphere of pathos and intense melancholy.

That the Berlin Philharmonic's performance of Tchaikovsky's The Tempest last year at the Proms and the premiere of Tippet's The Rose Lake earlier this year were both interrupted before the music had finished suggests that many cannot distinguish between times for exuberance and times when silence is the best applause.

Yours faithfully,

Tim Murray

Eastleigh, Hampshire