The association of music to cigars is probably not so innovative. However, such marriage has something unusual, going beyond the classic ‘pairings’ we are accustomed to, such as spirits, chocolate and much more.
With typical pairings, some senses are stimulated by both the cigar and the paired product. The result is a change in the overall perception that each of the tasted products offer. When accompanying the cigar to music we stimulate all five senses: the cigar takes care of touch, sight, smell and taste, and the music takes care of hearing, which highly contributes to our mood and can amplify the emotions offered by a great cigar.
We have already written about the first experience conducted in the form of a seminar at the 2104 ‘IX° Aniversario Encuentro Amigos de Partagas en Italia’. This year’s experiment at the ‘X° Aniversario Encuentro Amigos de Partagas en Italia’ last June has, again, maintained the high standards of the overall event held in Matelica, Italy, sharing a fascinating experiment with the participants.
The seminar has been introduced by :
– Stefano Minoia, Master of the Habanos Academy and Sales Manager at Diadema SpA (Italian Habanos distributor), founder of this project aiming to expand and share the premium cigar passion from a cultural and sensory perspective
– Walter Battagliola, professor at the Milan ‘Civica Scuola di Musica’, who has held principal roles in a number of European philarmonic orchestras
– Giuseppe Elefante, renowned catador, lover of and expert in Cuban cigars. He is a pioneer of the in-depth study of pairing of cigars with music.
– Paolo Jucker, well-known collector and music passionado
The research led the four passionados to propose, for the second seminar, the association of the famous Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35, written by Frederic Chopin, with the recently released Trinidad Vigia.
Chopin wrote the Funeral March, that became the third of the four movements here, in 1837, and composed the other three movements two years later.
This work can be viewed as the life cycle drama. It comprises four movements:
1. Grave: Doppio movimento
3. Marche funèbre: Lento
4. Finale: Presto
The Sonata at the seminar was performed by pianist Cecilia Airaghi.
The Trinidad Vigia (vitola de galera Torres, 4.3″ x 54) belongs to a prestigious brand created in 1969, but released to general public in 1998. The latest cigar born in the Trinidad family reflects the market trends dictating shorter and larger shaped cigars. Besides the smoking duration of the Vigia, the “pairing” choice with the Chopin Sonata is also due to the particular evolution that the pre-tested cigars have shown: after an exuberant opening, the young cigar tends to glide toward a softer register, supporting the evolution of the music. With the difficult “pairing” the aim is to transpose the music to the action of smoking which, by nature, entails some destruction.
Right after the enigmatic initial bars of the first movement, the music has a driving change in a quick time, in harmony with the first sensations offered by the cigar that immediately expresses its strength and a well-defined aromatic palette. The progression of music that goes from an almost nervous opening theme to a more loving one tends to go along with the evolution offered by the Vigia.
The second movement alternates excitement with thoughtful calmness, just as the second tercio of the cigar gradually smoothens out.
The Funeral March, or the third movement, the core of this Sonata, opens with heavy notes that evoke a kind of death song and accompany us during the last part of the cigar, announcing the impending end of the smoke. The movement, at first dark and gloomy, turns into a sad melody while the cigar seems to want an escape from this state of mind. It continues to release its aromas and its strength remains constant or slightly decreases.
The last, hard to read, movement is perhaps a brilliant and effective representation of the concept of “nothing”, of the irremediable void created by the death. On this last movement we abandon our cigar, which lets itself die expressing a gentle non aggressive finish.
You can find here the video of the seminar.
We hope you will also find the opportunity to experience this full range of emotional expression unleashed by the harmonic marriage of a truly fine cigar with an exceptional work of music. And we would love to hear your comments!
Reference: ‘Habanos e Musica, un Tripudio di Emozioni II’, seminar conducted first at the ‘X° Aniversario Encuentro Amigos de Partagas en Italia‘, Matelica, Italy, June 2015
Featured image : Diadema SpA
See also our article Cigars and music, an enriching experience