Classical Music Forum banner
1 - 20 of 184 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
8,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
What you find attractive varies on an individual basis, but is this an important component for you? For me it is. That is one reason why I prefer female performers like Yuja Wang or Mitsuko Uchida, they have great skill by my estimation (which is also something I look for) and I am attracted to confident women, which both of them are.

My preference in style goes to Wang, however, whom I find more intriguing and to have a style that stands out more to my ears. She is also closer to my age, so I like that aspect of it too. I can relate to her choice of clothing and ways of expressing herself this way, it is with the times of females expressing themselves sexually.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
Not at all... I suppose we are after two different types of entertainment here. I'm interested in the performance; understanding of the music, inspiration, interpretation, execution. Most of my music consumption is audio-only so I couldn't care less about the physical appearance of the performer(s). "Confidence" to me relates to assertiveness in playing. If I can't hear it over a CD, then it likely doesn't matter to me. And if I'm watching a performance, I'm interested in the acting ability (in opera) more than someone's physical appearance. I don't care if it's Nikolaus Harnoncourt or Herbert von Karajan or Yuja Wang in terms of appearance. Their task is to communicate through music. Rhetorically, why should I judge them for anything other than that? I feel like some of these threads are getting weirder and weirder...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
8,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not at all... I suppose we are after two different types of entertainment here. I'm interested in the performance; understanding of the music, inspiration, interpretation, execution. Most of my music consumption is audio-only so I couldn't care less about the physical appearance of the performer(s). "Confidence" to me relates to assertiveness in playing. If I can't hear it over a CD, then it likely doesn't matter to me. And if I'm watching a performance, I'm interested in the acting ability (in opera) more than someone's physical appearance. I don't care if it's Nikolaus Harnoncourt or Herbert von Karajan or Yuja Wang in terms of appearance. Their task is to communicate through music. Rhetorically, why should I judge them for anything other than that? I feel like some of these threads are getting weirder and weirder...
I'm sure you care about appearances on some level. For example, a performer dressed in rags at a hall is likely to be frowned upon by most classical enthusiasts.

It's almost impossible to deny we care about appearances on some level.
 

· Registered
Wagner, Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Dvorak
Joined
·
118 Posts
Not at all... I suppose we are after two different types of entertainment here. I'm interested in the performance; understanding of the music, inspiration, interpretation, execution. Most of my music consumption is audio-only so I couldn't care less about the physical appearance of the performer(s). "Confidence" to me relates to assertiveness in playing. If I can't hear it over a CD, then it likely doesn't matter to me. And if I'm watching a performance, I'm interested in the acting ability (in opera) more than someone's physical appearance. I don't care if it's Nikolaus Harnoncourt or Herbert von Karajan or Yuja Wang in terms of appearance. Their task is to communicate through music. Rhetorically, why should I judge them for anything other than that? I feel like some of these threads are getting weirder and weirder...
Modesty is one of those virtues we simply admire, even if we can't justify it. And yet, it is justified, along the lines of Roger Scruton's discussions of traditional values.
 

· Registered
Wagner, Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Dvorak
Joined
·
118 Posts
What you find attractive varies on an individual basis, but is this an important component for you? For me it is. That is one reason why I prefer female performers like Yuja Wang or Mitsuko Uchida, they have great skill by my estimation (which is also something I look for) and I am attracted to confident women, which both of them are.

My preference in style goes to Wang, however, whom I find more intriguing and to have a style that stands out more to my ears. She is also closer to my age, so I like that aspect of it too. I can relate to her choice of clothing and ways of expressing herself this way, it is with the times of females expressing themselves sexually.
what is "with the times" isn't necessarily virtuous or morally admirable. The world is riddled with post-war fascination with base animal instinct which has degenerated noble cultures in the last century. Spengler is right when he speaks of a decline of the west, and it starts with sexual licentiousness.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
8,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm not one for sexualizing performers for the sake of it, but expressing what's in your heart on the outside. It's part of the performance whether you want to admit it or not. It's the icing on the cake. The most important part of the performance is the music itself, but matching your musical expression through your clothing is an important part of the performance that is the icing on the cake.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
I'm sure you care about appearances on some level. For example, a performer dressed in rags at a hall is likely to be frowned upon by most classical enthusiasts.

It's almost impossible to deny we care about appearances on some level.
Scott Ross dressed very casually when he was teaching, performing, or going about his daily life; practically in rags (or often in a leather jacket). I would have found it strange if I had seen him in concert, sure, but that by itself doesn't tell me anything about his ability to communicate music. In any case, even if I cared more (and I'm sure many people care more about that kind of thing than I do), it isn't a factor when I'm listening only and not seeing them. In opera, where I am seeing the performance, the set design and costume design is more important to me anyway, as well as acting ability, and stage presence. I certainly wouldn't choose to attend a concert given by one performer or another based on anything to do with physical appearance.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
8,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Scott Ross dressed very casually when he was teaching, performing, or going about his daily life; practically in rags (or often in a leather jacket). I would have found it strange if I had seen him in concert, sure, but that by itself doesn't tell me anything about his ability to communicate music. In any case, even if I cared more (and I'm sure many people care more about that kind of thing than I do), it isn't a factor when I'm listening only and not seeing them. In opera, where I am seeing the performance, the set design and costume design is more important to me anyway, as well as acting ability, and stage presence. I certainly wouldn't choose to attend a concert given by one performer or another based on anything to do with physical appearance.
I don't think we are disagree as much as you may believe we do. Read my above post, #9.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
8,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Scott Ross dressed very casually when he was teaching, performing, or going about his daily life; practically in rags (or often in a leather jacket). I would have found it strange if I had seen him in concert, sure, but that by itself doesn't tell me anything about his ability to communicate music. In any case, even if I cared more (and I'm sure many people care more about that kind of thing than I do), it isn't a factor when I'm listening only and not seeing them. In opera, where I am seeing the performance, the set design and costume design is more important to me anyway, as well as acting ability, and stage presence. I certainly wouldn't choose to attend a concert given by one performer or another based on anything to do with physical appearance.
Would you watch a nude performance? My point being, if the music is to your liking, but the performer is dressed quite provocatively, would that be difficult for you to endure? If yes, that is still caring about appearances.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
Would you watch a nude performance?
I've seen Salome, if that counts, and I'd certainly listen to one if it was good. Not sure I would want to watch it, though... I do agree with your post #9 that expression and communication is what counts in a performance, but I fear that focusing on the clothing distracts from that. I see sexualizing performers as a cheap way to sell tickets, and you see it as a way of augmenting one's artistic expression, and I think that's where our views diverge. And to be fair to you, I don't really think very much about expressing myself when I choose which clothes to wear; fashion is something I know very little about and perhaps it is just a smaller part of my life than it is for most people. So if we are talking about legitimate artistic expression through fashion, that is a topic I'm not qualified to talk about. Though still, I don't know how much of it is that, and how much of it is essentially just marketing to a certain audience. Also, is this something that occurs with men and women? Your post only lists women, which seems concerning to me... women have been unfairly treated for most of classical music's history, and I would hope that the industry has made further strides to move past that.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,349 Posts
Watching an opera with an insurmountable difference between the "imagined", that is rôle appropriate, attraction and the actual attraction of the singer (say an ugly or elderly Gilda) might impede my enjoyment. And an overly seductive singer (e.g. a Gilda performing in revealing lingerie) might also distract from the musical aspect of the performance, at least I would not completely exclude such a possibility.
But I don't think that even a very attractive performer, if normally (for concert) dressed watched from a normal hall distance would distract me that much (I am middle aged, not 15... ;))
 

· Registered
Joined
·
8,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It certainly is, in today's culture, more of a marketing strategy to sell tickets. I think Yuja Wang is genuine though, and is expressing her artistic voice through her clothing. I think someone like Lang Lang, with his facial expressions and body movements is rather disingenuous, but I still think he's a great player.

I do not think the only form of expression is overt sexuality, but just one of several.

I do think the sexualization of women is overly done, and in disingenuous ways that aren't focusing on expressing the artist's artistic voice, and I do think it should be done for both men and women. Being a heterosexual male, I focused on women in this thread.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
7,680 Posts
Would you watch a nude performance? My point being, if the music is to your liking, but the performer is dressed quite provocatively, would that be difficult for you to endure? If yes, that is still caring about appearances.
Nude performances have happened you know, Gulda being the most well-known one, as well as ballets etc. One was a huge artistic and commercial success here, back in the 70s. At the most prestigious Royal Theatre. This might surprise you. It's very good that conventions, prudishness and narrow-mindedness is being challenged at times. Over time, musician- and public-appearance have certainly loosened a bit in recent decades in many places, and that's overall a blessing.

I basically don't care much about the looks, and it has definitely not influenced my choice of preferred musicians, not to say recordings. I had a bit of a crush on one of the ABBA women and a local pop singer here, when I was 15. Some lesser talented musicians have exploited their looks for commercial reasons, but I'm not buying it any more.
 
1 - 20 of 184 Posts
Top