Quincy
 
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 02:03 pm
Hi.

By 'concert' I mean of course classical music (no, don't derail the thread by questioning me on this sentence please).

Last night I went to my first concert of any sort, a piano and cello recital by two distinguished musicians, Peter Bruns and Annegret Kuttner:
http://www.peterbruns.de/content/view/12/26/
http://www.annegretkuttner.de/index.php

Quote:
Peter Bruns plays on a cello from Carlo Tononi, Venice 1730, which was once owned by the legendary Spanish cellist Pablo Casals.

which, of course, I saw in the recital.

Now, I don't know anything about concert etiquette, but I have listened to some live recordings of piano recitals, so I was a bit surprised at some of the things that happened at the concert. Can someone please inform me about it?

Firstly, a couple arrived after the concert had started, and I thought they closed the doors once it had begun. The concert started 10 min. late anyway to give people a bit more time to arrive. Not only is it rude to keep great musicians waiting, why are people allowed to interupt them while they are playing? Anyway, the musicians didn't notice at all.

Several people got up during the concert and went to the bathroom! I thought this wasn't allowed, or is at least very rude. Go before the concert begins, or wait until the interval!

About half the people didn't bother to dress up. I was in a suit, but many people looked like they couldn't be bothered, wearing jeans and a shirt, and such. If there is any occassion to dress up for surely it's a recital by distinguished musicians?

Lastly, people clapped after the first movement of the first piece! I know for certain this is wrong. Thankfully no one clapped between movements after that.

So, there may not be actual rules about such things, but I feel there were some un-written rules that were broken. Am I right or not?

At any rate, it was a great recital. The musicians gave four encore performances! So they must have been happy with the evening.

I would like to go to more concerts, but don't have the money (someone gave me a free ticket this time), and we don't often get top musicians here in South Africa. Even for these two famous musicians we were in a small hall that was only about 3/4 full, about 150 people is my guess. There simply aren't enough people to support classical music here. Anyway, I'm happy listening to cds and the radio. One musician I would still like to see, before one of us dies, is Peter Katin, if he still performs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Katin
http://www.peterkatin.com/news.asp
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 03:51 pm
What? no cell phones went off? babies crying? coughing?

Sounds like you had a polite audience, for today's standards.

ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 03:54 pm
@Quincy,
Hi Quincy, that sort of behaviour isn`t acceptable here in Toronto.

Part of the problem may be that if there is not a regular classical concert season, there may not be an audience that understands the protocol for classical concerts. In fact, the concert-givers may not be that sophisticated either. If they were letting people in and out of the hall, it suggests they didn`t know the correct etiquette for the situation.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 04:34 pm
@Quincy,
At the concerts I've attended, no one was permitted to take their seats once the concert started. EVER. And people leaving their seats in the middle is a shock. Never saw this.

There was never applaue between movements except for an occasional lone clap.

I can't speak to attire. Don't know what's happening thee days.

I'm glad you enjoyed the music. Sounds mahvelous.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 06:15 pm
@Quincy,
Don't be so harsh on what people are wearing. Classical music needs the largest following as possible. If dressing casual makes the concert more accessible to some then so be it. Once upon a time, suits weren't tolerated and tuxedos were the accepted attire. Would you want to be excluded for that?

As for the late entry? That's a big mistake by both the late concert goers as well as the people running the concert hall.

As for the clapping between movements? I tend to follow suit with the rest of the crowd. I don't usually known how many movements per work. I'm an relative amateur in regards to classical music concerts. But I can see if one appreciates a truly spectacular and moving performance of a movement just played.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 06:49 pm
Yep, no late seating, at all, whatsoever, period.

If you care that much to go and pay the $$, get there on time!! I'm sure if they were refused once, they'd learn their lesson.

We had seasons tickets at the theatre for 20 yrs and even though there was a sign saying "No Late Seating", they always did it. It interrupts the flow for everyone, audience and cast alike. I always had dreams of sitting on the aisle where one of these jerks had to be seated and putting my foot up on the back of the seat in front of me and saying 'No!!'

You get there early, get your program, read about it and are in your seat before the show starts.

Also, no candy wrappers, no coughing (bring a Halls or give your ticket to someone else), no talking, no cell phones and no little kids - we've had all the above and it is so distracting. I've said "SHHHHHHH" many a time!
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 06:59 pm
@Mame,
Mame wrote:
no coughing (bring a Halls


I`m so paranoid about coughing that I usually pop 3 or 4 throat lozenges before concerts start. I don`t cough, but I`m usually on a sugar high by the end of the evening Laughing
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 07:18 pm
@ehBeth,
I hear you Smile
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 07:19 pm
We had symphony season tickets in Los Angeles for a bit, back in the eighties, but I assume things are the same, depending. (more on that)
We went once in a while to "serious" plays at the major theaters.
We went a million times to small theater, small varying in size, often with relatively few people in a place that perhaps had 50 to 75 seats - there might be, say, fifteen people, or, seventy five.

For the symphony - I agree with all everyone else says. The only qualm I have is that I haven't been to performances with the relatively new to LA conductor Gustavo Dudamel, and maybe some few of his are less formal. (I haven't kept up on my reading about him).

For major theater, again I agree with others.

For small theater, at least in my day, things could be fairly lax. First of all, the performers were glad to have people show up, especially people that weren't their mother or brothers and sisters. If someone was ten minutes late, they should have just been extremely quiet and sit in back. Some small theatrical shows want to engage with the audience. Some venues vary - egads, I used to adore the San Francisco Mime Troupe and they performed in a movie theater and the audience was very reactive to them (in a good way) - and also used to follow some small 'ethnic' theater events and they could vary re formality. Still basic courtesy prevails even in what I'm calling ' more lax' situations.

Oh - on dress - it's a night out, look good! Dress up, whether that means cool in some way for the small theaters or means your good dress or suit for the symphony, or formal dress in San Francisco for the opera. It's all play - music is entertainment in many ways, theater -- be part of the event. It's a push pull with the musicians (or actors) and the audience - the audience's thereness matters.
0 Replies
 
Quincy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2011 03:04 am
@ehBeth
That's what I was thinking, not acceptable. I'm not sure if there is regular music at this theatre where I went, I suppose there is with local musicians. I expect at least the theatre managers would know what to do.

@tsarstepan
What's so hard about putting on a suit for a few hours? I did see a few children who lloked like they had been dragged there by their parents, but still, don't you have dress up for church?

By 'tuxedo' I suppose you mean 'dinner jacket', which is a type of suit anyway. Dinner jackets are rarely worn today. Even heads of state don't wear them to international meetings, although they probably never did. In fact, I've never seen anyone wearing one these days, in person or on television.

Isn't it funny that some night clubs have strict dress codes, and if you don't meet them they don't let you in! If the concert has a dress code they should inform you beforehand, and they didn't.

No one left entirely, a few people just went to the bathroom and came back.

The number of movements is in the concert programme, and why would you go to a concert and not have a program?

@Mame
I agree. But then again, concert tickets usually are very expensive. I suppose it's not so bad if you sit at the back, but shuffling past people to get to your seat is still a nuisance.

Thankfully everyone held their coughing to between movements, which is fine.

@ossobuco
If you go to a large Shakespeare production, probably dress up. If it's a small, informal play, I guess 'smart-casual' is alright. For classical music, however, I feel you must dress up, even if it's small.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2011 05:26 am
@Quincy,
Classical music has wrongfully held a stuffy atmosphere/reputation. Forcing people to get dressed up for such concerts (requires money for the suit's dry cleaning and extra time). Many people would decide this expenditure and slight amount of discomfort isn't worth the extra effort and don't go. Then we have a lose/lose. The musicians lose by getting an ever decreasing population of concert attendees and classical music lovers who don't have big pockets lose as the concert hall MUST raise ticket prices in order to recover costs. Besides, who will care if your in jeans and a nice shirt? Not the musicians. And I don't care what my fellow concertgoers think either. I'm not here for them.

And yes. People still wear tuxedos and gowns to classical music concerts and dance recitals. I live in NYC and have seen it on many occasion. It's each person's prerogative to dress to their own needs and comfort.

As for the movements? I always have the program but I tend not to be counting the movements and minutes of the concert waiting for it to end. I'm there to enjoy the music and just not to be seen (in alleged proper attire) by a certain socioeconomic group I'm supposed to be imitating and hoping to impress them by my understanding of concert etiquette.

Do you want to keep classical music stuffy and inaccessible to the greater public? Thusly continuing it's downward spiral into cultural obsolescence?

Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2011 05:36 am
It's been years and years since anyone has behaved as though there were a dress code for chamber music or orchestral music performances.
0 Replies
 
Quincy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2011 07:47 am
@tsarstepan,
Don't be silly. Most men wear a suit to work every day. Is that a big effort and a big deal? If you can afford to buy the tickets you are likely to be a man who wears suits to work. Besides, you can get cheapish suits, or hire one. Even if you don't wear suits to work, most men still have at least one suit for formal occassions. I don't see why people can't wear a suit to a concert.

Like I said, many 'posh' night clubs have strict dress codes, why not for concerts? In fact, fast food places even have dress codes. If you are taking your woman to a decent restaurant you wear a suit (hopefully). Wedding, suit. Funeral, suit. Graduation, suit. Church, suit. Etc.

I think it's quite a stretch to say that requiring formal dress for a concert would significantly decrease attendance. The type of person who thinks it is a big deal to put on a suit for a few hours to see a good concert is the type of person who probably does not listen to classical music.

When you said tuxedo I was think of something else, a dress suit, not a dinner jacket like I said:
http://www.vam.ac.uk/images/image/16118-large.jpg
A tuxedo is basically just a black suit. You can't say a tuxedo is any more formal than any other type of suit. If you like you can say a black suit is required for a concert, but I can't see why.

If you listen to classical music then obviously you will be following the movements and you will want to know what they are (allegro, adagio, etc.)! You will also want to know when one piece ends and the next begins! If you know anything about classical music then clapping between movements is just weird, because a movement doesn't stand alone, it's part of the whole piece.

trastepan wrote:
Do you want to keep classical music stuffy and inaccessible to the greater public? Thusly continuing it's downward spiral into cultural obsolescence?


What do you mean 'keep it stuffy and inaccessible'? Is 'thusly' a word? Nevermind all that. I think I've made my point that dressing up for an evening is not a big deal.

engineer
 
  3  
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2011 09:05 am
@Quincy,
I routinely attend classical music but in a smaller city with a local symphony.

People coming in late is clearly a no-no, but unless you are at venue that routinely handles music the management may default to allowing access rather than upset patrons.

Quote:
Several people got up during the concert and went to the bathroom! I thought this wasn't allowed, or is at least very rude.

While it would be nice if people thought of this and attended to it in advance, if you have to go, you have to go. I'm a lot more forgiving of someone going to the bathroom than a cell phone ringing or something like that.

Quote:

About half the people didn't bother to dress up. I was in a suit, but many people looked like they couldn't be bothered, wearing jeans and a shirt, and such. If there is any occassion to dress up for surely it's a recital by distinguished musicians?

So our venue is not Carnegie hall (our symphony plays on the local college campus) and there is a signifcant fraction of attendees who come in nice jeans, if that. It doesn't change the quality of the music so it doesn't bother me.

Quote:
Lastly, people clapped after the first movement of the first piece! I know for certain this is wrong.

Of course you are correct, but people do this out of ignorance and enthusiasm, not out of rudeness. If this event is drawing out a lot of first time patrons, I'm not surprised that some education on how to watch live classical music is in order. I'm sure the musicians have heard it happen before and it doesn't bother them.

Quote:
At any rate, it was a great recital.

Great! Classical music needs all the fans it can get to maintain and grow the medium. Hopefully the success of this concert encourages the organizers to do more.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2011 10:23 am
@Quincy,
Quincy wrote:

Don't be silly. Most men wear a suit to work every day.

That is becoming less and less true -- at least around here.

Quincy wrote:
I don't see why people can't wear a suit to a concert.

I generally tend to wear a sport coat and slacks to the opera. I've gotten rather more casual during my infrequent trips to the symphony, but I haven't reached the point of wearing jeans and tennis shoes. These days, though, I'm just happy when people wear pants to formal events, so I don't insist on music patrons dressing in suit and tie.

Quincy wrote:
A tuxedo is basically just a black suit.

Not really. The cut is different. Of course, a tuxedo originally was a tailcoat without the tails (your illustration, e.g., is of a tailcoat, which is definitely not the same thing as a black suit). Nowadays, however, "tuxedo" refers to any formal black suit (what used to be known as a dinner jacket).

Quincy wrote:
If you listen to classical music then obviously you will be following the movements and you will want to know what they are (allegro, adagio, etc.)! You will also want to know when one piece ends and the next begins! If you know anything about classical music then clapping between movements is just weird, because a movement doesn't stand alone, it's part of the whole piece.

All very true. I originally thought this was some sort of American problem, and that people who had grown up with classical music as part of their heritage would know better. Then I attended an open-air concert in Paris where many of the patrons clapped between the movements of a piano concerto, and all of my illusions were shattered. Indeed, the first time I saw someone take a flash photo during an opera performance -- quite possibly the most boorish thing I've witnessed at a classical music event -- was not in the States but in Vienna (although I suspect the culprits might have been Japanese tourists).
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2011 12:01 pm
@PUNKEY,
and in Boston once - a fight broke out. Sounds like a pleasant concert to me.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2011 12:07 pm
@joefromchicago,
Yep true - many offices are now business casual unless dealing directly with a client. And then only on days where you may be dealing face to face with a client. I haven't worn a suit for over 5 years.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2011 01:02 pm
Nobody cares about these things, and haven't done for many years. I never see anyone in a jacket and tie, never mind a suit, at the concerts we attend. There is a world class opera company in Toronto, which plays Houston in their "off season," called Opera Atelier. We went to the peformance of Poppea, and went early, because one of the founders of Opera Atelier, and the man who usually produces and directs the operas, Marshall Pinkowski, was giving a lecture on Monteverdi before the performance. Mr. Pinkowski was wearing nice slacks and shoes--and a sleeveless silk shirt. Now that is perhaps more extreme than the average opera goer in this city, but no one batted an eye.

First of all, most concerts these days are not classical music. Baroque is extremely popular, and most period instruments groups play Baroque music. Renaissance music is also very popular, and classical much less so than was true just 20 years ago. It is increasingly rare to hear Romantic or Neo-classical. But leaving aside that silliness, there is nothing at all "stuffy" or "stuck up" about either the performers or the audience. In my experience, the ochestra are the best dressed people in the room.
0 Replies
 
Shapeless
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2011 01:58 pm
@Quincy,
Quote:
About half the people didn't bother to dress up. I was in a suit, but many people looked like they couldn't be bothered, wearing jeans and a shirt, and such. If there is any occassion to dress up for surely it's a recital by distinguished musicians?


Some "distinguished musicians" themselves don't dress up anymore either, and I don't see a problem with it. One of the best concerts I've ever attended was Joshua Bell playing Barber's Violin Concerto with the San Francisco Symphony, and Bell had an oversized, untucked, and (from my vantage point in the nosebleed seats) apparently rhinestoned shirt. He could have been wearing a tutu for all I cared--he sounded sublime.

There was a time when the purpose of going to the symphony or opera was to see and be seen, and only secondarily to listen to the music. The attire requirement seems to me to be a throwback to those days, and I'm glad today's audiences are no longer being persuaded that their level of engagement with the music is somehow contingent on what they look like. I wear casual clothes to concerts all the time and as a musicologist I am pretty confident I appreciate the music more than the women in pearls falling asleep in the front rows.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2011 06:42 pm
This evening, because i have head phones for the dvd player, i put in Le nozze di Figaro so i could listen as i walked around the living room and kitchen (and here at the box, i'm still listening). But it made me think of this thread. This was filmed in 1993, with Brin Terfel as Figaro and Alison Hagley as Susanna--filmed at le Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. The orchestra and choir were the Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir, with John Eliot Gardinar conducting. Everyone in the orchestra was in black. Mr. Gardiner was wearing nice black slacks and a very nice black oxford shirt (it appeared to be silk) as well as some snazzy silver and black suspenders--the shirt collar was open, he wore no tie. The women were all in black dresses, but none of them wore formal dresses. The men were all in black oxford shirts (open at the collar) and black slacks, with the exception of a few men wearing black, long-sleeved "t-shirts." Not a suit or tie in sight.
0 Replies
 
 

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