>In my experience, there are enormous differences between popular and
>classical music concerts. Popular music concerts depend on a (perceived
>or real) direct, personal connection between the performer(s) and the
>audience members, and among the audience members - a sense of common,
>group experience. I believe this feeling far outweighs the choice of
>programming and has more to do with performer charisma and image,
>atmosphere, and complex sociological stuff like group identification
My mileage differs. For instance, just this month in Milwaukee, as he
concluded the bravura first movement of the Emperor Concerto [also on
the program Shostakovich's 10th Symphony--magnificently performed by
Andreas Delfs and the MSO] Yefim Bronfman turned his head to the audience
and gave an emphatic curt nod, as if to say, "there, that's wrapped up!"
The audience reaction was an immediate, gentle, fellow-feeling laugh.
I always feel part of a common group in the concert hall. Aside from
the acoustics, that's a major reason why I pay money to attend live
concerts in the first place.
By the way, as an encore that evening Bronfman played an unbelievably
powerful rendering of Prokofiev's 7th Sonata finale, outdoing his own
recording of same. The previous evening, a friend tells me, he played
the Chopin Revolutionary Etude in a way that could have expressed
revolutionary rage. (And this dates me, but in 1956, a revolutionary
year in eastern Europe, at one of the first concerts I ever attended,
I heard that piece played with such an intention, in Carnegie Hall.
I forget by whom.)