At a local church, I attended a "concert" advertised to contain "music for woodwind quintet and organ". I looked forward to going as there were going to be selections from Bach, Ravel, and Holst. I was especially interested in hearing selections by Jongen and Warlock as I had never heard their works performed.
The performance was presented via a video shown on a large-screen but, because of the size of the church, the television should have been a Jumbotron as one could hardy distinguish the performers on the television. I could tell the flutist, bassoonist, clarinetist, and horn player from their instruments but one performer was obscured by the organ and a music stand but I could see a tiny head pop up intermittently thus I assumed she was the oboeist!
Preceding each composer's work, the Master of Ceremonies gave a short description of each composer and selection. He also told about the performers.
After each composer's work a strange thing happened: the audience erupted in applause. I did not applaud as it seemed rather ludicrous to be applauding a taped performance, but I noticed that several people around me looked over at me with my folded arms.
When all the works were completed the audience arose--like a standing ovation--and directed their hands in applause to the church's Choir Master who is also the Director of Concerts as he was standing in what I assume is a balcony.
I was the only person who remained seated and I could detect numerous people giving quizzical looks at me.
Do these people people believe that by some magical, mystical method that their plaudits are somehow transmitted to those performers wherever they might be in the universe?
I have always been amazed when people applaud in movie theaters after a movie. Do they think Meryl Streep--or perhaps a director--know that they are being applauded? Honestly, while listening to classical music from WOSU radio, I do not applaud in my car or home!
Read an interesting article:http://www.flickchart.com/blog/hold-your-applause-the-case-for-and-against-clapping-in-a-cinema/