The Corner

Books, Arts & Manners

Sweet Vindication

Anna Netrebko, furious, as Adriana Lecouvreur at the Metropolitan Opera (Ken Howard / Met Opera)

If you’re in the mood for music — at least some writing about music — I have a few links for you. Adriana Lecouvreur is playing at the Metropolitan Opera. For my review at The New Criterion, go here. Paavo Järvi has been guest-conducting the New York Philharmonic (with Gautier Capuçon serving as cello soloist). For my review, go here.

If you’d like a proper essay — kind of interesting — I have one in the current issue of National Review: “Bon-Bons for All,” about encores in the concert hall and opera house. I got an e-mail from a reader I would like to share. But first, allow me to quote a paragraph from the essay:

“Encore” means, literally, “again.” In Europe, they often say “Bis!” Give it to me a second time. In our modern era, an encore is usually something else, something in addition. But it occasionally is the same piece again, a true encore, if you will. In the course of a recent recital, Hilary Hahn played Bach’s Violin Partita in D minor, which includes the much loved, transcendental Chaconne. At the end of her recital, she said, “Do you want to hear the Chaconne again?” They did.

Okay, the aforementioned e-mail from a reader:

When I was about seven years old, I played in a piano recital. When I was done, the teacher asked if I would like to do an encore. I said, “No, but I’d like to play another song instead.” People laughed. But, based on your article 75 years later, I was correct and those bastards who laughed are all dead.

Well said, Dad.

Most Popular


The 2020 Battle Begins

The 2020 campaign begins in earnest next week in Florida, when Donald Trump officially launches his reelection bid. On June 26, 20 Democratic candidates and five moderators hold the first of two nights of debates. Where do things stand? According to the polls, President Trump starts at a disadvantage. He has ... Read More