“They are demanded, they delight and then they’re over, rarely to be remembered like the big concerto, sonata or symphony to which they form brief codas.
But the power of the encore, if subtle, is considerable. In the over structured, overdetermined world of classical music, encores embody something too frequently missing: surprise. They’re among the most potent tools a concert artist wields.
“The encore should wrap up the audience’s experience of the piece you just played,” the violinist Hilary Hahn explained recently.”