False endings

October 13, 2015

For no particular reason, I’ve been thinking about music that feints at a conclusion and then carries on.

The most famous example is probably the final movement of Haydn’s so-called “Joke” Quartet, in which, at the premiere, the audience was tricked into applauding and then chuckled nervously as the music resumed. Here is the Endellion String Quartet:

Here is Dudley Moore’s hilarious parody of a Beethoven cadence, which just keeps going and going and going…

And, to take an example from pop music, here is King’s X singing “We Were Born To Be Loved”; the last couple of minutes are a herky-jerky series of stops and starts. It’s a pretty great song too.

I can’t think of any others at the moment.


3 Responses to “False endings”

  1. Osbert Parsley Says:

    Dudley Moore is channelling the earlier Beethoven parody in Satie’s ridiculous “Embryons desséchés” (third movement here): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkSK3Jc4EEE

  2. cburrell Says:

    Very amusing, Osbert. I think next year is a Satie anniversary year, which will give me occasion to spend some time with him.

  3. The overture to the magic flute fakes an ending, then everyone claps, then there is a big chord, and people sheepishly clap again, then another big chord, and a few people who still don’t get it clap again, and then the music starts up again in earnest while the audience sits there in embarrassment.
    Also, I have sung the hallelujah chorus enough times to know that people always jump the gun on that one too. There’s just one more “Hallelujah” at the end than people think there is.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: