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The State of Black Tie: Your Observations

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mafoofan, Nov 22, 2011.

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  1. palk

    palk Well-Known Member

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    I saw Interpreti Veneziani play some of Vivaldi's works in the Chiesa di San Vidal a couple years ago during Carnivale, and I too highly recommend concerts like it if you're fortunate enough to find yourself in Venice for the evening.
     
  2. crdb

    crdb Senior member

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    The trouble with much Baroque and early Classical repertoire is how familiar audiences are with common practice harmony, which means it is extremely obvious when you screw up. If you are unfortunate enough to be doing the continuo, you also have to contend with more expert ears that will detect non-Bach-like chord progressions (fortunately modern string instruments are so much more powerful than harpsichords that they cover you up to an extent, especially in a boomy church acoustic). For this reason, it is harder to play Mozart at auditions than Strauss or a contemporary composer. Vivaldi is probably the most extreme example because on top of a style that really adheres to the rules, everybody has heard his works a thousand times on the radio.

    In this way music from that period can be compared to black tie, with both obvious and non-obvious rules and good ideas. There is considerably more liberty with late Classical and later repertoire as well as some more adventurous composers like Biber. There, as with "smart casual", you can ascribe errors to artistic creativity.

    Personally, having performed in a few Venetian churches, I prefer more Northern countries for the simple reason that they are cooler. The Venetian summer is a killer for tuning and just trying not to drench your concert outfit...
     
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  3. upr_crust

    upr_crust Senior member

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    I saw a concert in the Chiesa di San Vidal as well, and one in the Scuola di San Rocco, some six years ago, both with a Baroque repertoire, though the groups performing I do not remember offhand. Happily, meteorologically, I attended these concerts just prior to Carnevale, so being overheated was not a problem.
     
  4. crdb

    crdb Senior member

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    This is not really the time and place but I felt the need after your anecdote to click through to your Instagram and see Italy, and those are smashing outfits.
     
  5. Andy57

    Andy57 Senior member

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    Agreed about cluttering up this thread, but this is an interesting diversion nonetheless. Happily, the Chiesa della Pietà was neither boomy (to my ears, anyway) nor hot. This was early April and both the evening and the interior of the church were quite chilly. I was glad to be dressed relatively warmly. Later in the evening, though, while listening to some more contemporary music in Piazza San Marco, I was rather cold.

    Thank you for that explanation. I was simply referring to the dazzling finger dexterity on display by the lead violinist. I had no appreciation of the other considerations you mention.

    Thank you, I appreciate that.
     
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  6. Faux Brummell

    Faux Brummell Member

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    Hi all. I recently purchased a Charles Tyrwhitt tuxedo and waistcoat. The waistcoat has self-faced shawl lapels. My understanding is that satin-faced lapels to match the jacket would be more correct, what are your thoughts? (I'm kicking around the idea of asking a tailor to add the satin, how absurd does that sound?)

    Thanks.
     
  7. Andy57

    Andy57 Senior member

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    In my opinion, you're fine with self-faced lapels on the waistcoat. I don't think there's a stricture that the waistcoat must match the satin of the jacket's lapels. If it's any comfort, my own evening waistcoat has self-faced lapels. I wear it with both satin-faced and grosgrain-faced dinner jackets.
     
  8. crdb

    crdb Senior member

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    How interesting. I was playing with this paragraph and it auto-quoted it. Someone is having fun with UI.

    I have tried for a couple of weeks to resist temptation but as you know when one is passionate, the words just have to come out.

    I think there are two dimensions of greatness in music performance: technical skills and musicality. It is rare and impressive to find someone able to knock out all 24 Paganini Caprices at an interesting speed without faults (see Perlman), or do La Campanella with the lightness it requires (see John Ogdon). Musicality is I think more widespread, people are naturally talented and the state of musical education is such today that most of the students that make it into professional training (let alone actual professionals) are gifted. Like taste however, it is the more interesting of the two dimensions and a performance that is very musical can be forgiven technical mishaps, because it expands your mind and you walk away somehow enhanced.

    I would count as a technically flawed yet musically brilliant performance the recording of Shostakovich doing his own 2nd piano concerto () clearly, age was catching up with him and he could not quite knock out all the notes but he did not let this stop his spirit and the recording is simply the greatest exuberance of raw spirit in my memory, completely uncorked unlike, say, Rachmaninov's recordings of his own works whose complexity and polish subdue the giant Russian heart civilised by years of living happily in the United States. On the other hand, I bought tickets to a very famous Russian violinist I shall not name weeks in advance, queued dutifully for an hour or two, and left halfway through because whilst the playing was technically flawless, the man in question must have left his soul backstage.

    Perhaps there is a parallel to CM. Sprezz, taste may be related to musicality, but what is technical brilliance? Is it well executed clothes, a body that lends itself to impressive tailoring, the right impression being made?
     
  9. Faux Brummell

    Faux Brummell Member

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    Thanks so much, Andy.

     
  10. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Senior member

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    As promised, here was my decision between velvet slippers and opera shoes.

    IMG_3485.JPG

    IMG_3478.JPG
     
    Andy57 likes this.
  11. Andy57

    Andy57 Senior member

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