Monday, April 9, 2018


On any given day, there are many classical music concerts in Paris. Especially in the churches, you can find recitals of works by Vivaldi, Beethoven, Bach, Chopin to name a few. We know these names as Questions to Answers on Jeopardy or from clues in a Crossword Puzzle. But, I think that Europeans are more aware of the "Classics" than we are. Of course, we have our own set of "Classics" that we can be proud of.

Last week, Jacques invited us to a violin concert at the relatively new Symphonie Hall at La Cite de la Musique. This is an amazing, modern structure on the outskirts of Paris by Porte de Pantin. It is located in an expansive plaza. There were a number of buildings associated with the music hall so we got a bit lost finding exactly where we needed to be. This is the view of the Symphonie Hall coming from La Cite de la Musique which we entered by mistake looking for the restaurant. The guards let us go out the Emergency Exit to get to right place.

We had dinner in a terrific restaurant on a balcony overlooking Paris then went downstairs to the concert hall. The setting was spectacular. When we entered the concert hall, we went down steps that were at an angle, not straight down. Really interesting architecture.
Oh, and the concert was terrific too. Joshua Bell, a world re-known violinist put on a great performance that everyone appreciated. After several encores, we headed out to take the metro back to our apartment. Jacques and Claire switched at the Stalingrad station and we continued to Bastille, then switched to the Line 1 to get to Hotel de Ville. Here is a photo of the metro at 11:30 on our way  home.

Last night we went to a High Mass Choir concert at the church closest to us, Notre Dame des Blancs Manteaux (Our Lady of the White Coats??). This church is just around the corner from us.
So, we figured a little more culture wouldn't hurt. Even if I don't understand or fully appreciate all the music, the setting was worth the price of admission. 
You can almost see the soloists (a soprano, tenor and baritone walk into a bar...) in the foreground with the musicians and choir in the background. Different sections of the mass were sung by the choir or by one or more soloists so we could follow along in the program. 

Of course you can also get your share of music by walking through some of the metro stations or on the metro itself, or even on the street leading to the Place des Vosges. 
The old lady was having a great time dancing to the music of this ragtime band.

(All this talk of music reminds me to look into Jonny Lang and Buddy Guy tickets this summer.)

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