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Last on

Sat 14 Dec 2013 07:30 BBC Radio 4 Extra

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 01 October 2009

Singer Guy Garvey explores the development of the musical encore, from the spontaneous demand for a repeat performance to the predictable delivery of a closing party piece.

Speaking to fellow performers and hearing from historians, he discovers how the encore has progressed over time. In the 17th and 18th century orchestras would be applauded after each movement of a symphony, often repeating the most popular movements a number of times before moving on the rest of the concert. The demand for more seemed to be spontaneous and unexpected. Nowadays, however, all encores are saved for the end of an evening and are hardly, if ever, a repeat of what has been heard before.

Guy asks how acts choose their encores, if there is an art to the good encore and if there are any artists today who are trying to breath new life into the practice.


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