In New York lately, there have been many encores — more than usual. Encores are an adornment to concert life. They can be like a dessert, completing a meal. If they are very short, they are more like an after-dinner mint. Either way, they should leave a concertgoer feeling satisfied.
Encores serve a number of purposes. They give a performer a chance to let his hair down. They give him a chance to play repertoire that might not make it onto his regular program — because of brevity, for example, or even goofiness.
“The Ride of the Valkyries,” from Wagner’s Ring opera