Magazine December 31, 2018, Issue

Bon-Bons for All

Juan Diego Flórez singing encores in Carnegie Hall on November 18, 2018 (Chris Lee)

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

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