I attended the Boston Symphony Orchestra concert this past Saturday night. It was a wonderful concert with a program that included Bartok's Divertimento for Strings, Martinu's Violin Concerto No. 2 and Dvorak's Symphony No. 8. Christoph von Dohnányi conducted in Levine's absence.
I enjoyed each piece on the program, but did see something after the concerto that I had never seen before. Frank Peter Zimmerman was the violin soloist. His intense and beautiful performance created quite the ovation from the audience. The applause seemed to be non-stop, but then Zimmerman came out to play an encore. I expected to hear a fast, flashy piece that would excite the audience even more. Every encore I had heard up to this point was like that. However, Zimmerman took a different route and performed a slow movement from one of the Unaccompanied Suites by JS Bach. It created quite an aura in the hall. At the end of the encore, the audience was just as excited as when they heard the fast paced end of the 3rd movement of the Martinu. How interesting and intriguing I found this to be. Has anyone else been to a concert where the encore is a slow, beautiful piece?