Marie Jacquot leads the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in concerts featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 earlier in January.

In Friday’s (1/12) Dallas Morning News, Scott Cantrell writes, “Unprecedented in my multi-decade experience of Handel Messiah concerts, the Dallas Bach Society audience last month started applauding after every aria and chorus. Two weeks later, there was applause after every movement of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony…. What’s wrong with that? If we like a performance, shouldn’t we applaud? Well, many classical music compositions are in multiple sections meant to be performed—and heard—without interruption, except for brief pauses. Those pauses are moments for musicians to catch their breaths (sometimes literally) and refocus, highlighting contrasts between movements while maintaining the work’s overall dramatic trajectory…. Symphonies and concertos usually have well-defined and contrasting movements. A dramatic first movement or exhilarating scherzo is all the more powerful for a ‘charged silence afterward. That tension, that moment when we hold our breaths, is one of the great gifts of classical music…. In Mozart’s and Beethoven’s days, applause was common after individual movements. If the applause was particularly lusty, the movement might be repeated…. Sometime in the 19th century a consensus developed that multi-movement compositions should be heard without interruption. Two centuries on, in a world that desperately needs the occasional oasis of sustained concentration, it’s a tradition to be maintained.”