12.5.10

A very special concert

I recently had the privilege to be invited to a very private concert, organised by the “Association Artisitique Suédoise à Paris” and which took place in the home of the pianist Helge Antoni and his wife Marissa.

Helge is a fascinating person with a very international life … and of course a brilliant pianist. You can go to his site for further details. He offered us a Chopin recital, of course with reference to the 200 years since Frédéric’s birth. It may be mentioned that Frédéric lived for a number of years only two minutes of walk from here, in Square d’Orléans (see previous post).

Helge also played a wonderful interpretation of François Couperin’s “Les Barricades Mystérieuses”, normally of course performed on harpsichord (cembalo), but I’m sure that if the piano as we know it had existed during Couperin’s days, this might have been the interpretation he would have liked to perform or hear. Maybe also a word about the surprising name of this piece of music, the “mysterious barricades”; Helge told us that he had learnt that during the Louis XIV period this would refer to the ladies eyelashes. You can listen to it here; unfortunately the sound recording leaves to desire.

What further added to the value of the evening was of course the talk with Helge and the members of the audience … and the champagne!

… and also the fact that the home of the Antoni couple used to be the workshop of Degas during his last – almost blind - years. I guess he produced some of his famous ballerina statues here. Degas lived and died in a flat on the other side of the street – Boulevard de Clichy.
Behind a normal entrance on the Boulevard Clichy to a private mansion which once belonged to a French Minister, Téophile Delcassé and his rich wife, you can find another building, full of artist studios; this is where Helge and his wife live. The Delcassé couple decided to build this on their property to allow space for those days’ artists and fortunately most of the studios are still occupied by artists. So, Degas was one of them, Picasso was another one (he lived here some three years during his cubist days), Sarah Bernhardt a third one (she used the studio for one of her hobbies – sculpturing).
Looking out through the windows, you have a chance to overlook the very private little alley, Avenue Frochot, inhabited previously (Jean Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec…) and still today by a number of celebrities.
It should be noted that these addresses are not open to public – you need to know the entrance code or be invited.

Addendum:
There is now a better recording available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDv0SkP4tVY&feature=player_embedded

35 comments:

lasiate said...

merci pour cette ballade secrète

Simony said...

What a chic event to be! You are a lucky man! Probably you could feel, breath and hear the spirit of art in such a place previously inhabited by so many talents. What a dream!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

A wonderful invitation , :-)

Shionge said...

My gosh...a private recital and indeed a privileged event ;) You are so lucky wish I have that opportunity to hear him too.

The grand piano looks awesome...my daughter would love that !!

Catherine said...

I love that first shot of the pianist...sounds a magical concert..

Thérèse said...

Un véritable privilège et surement une soirée délicieuse!

V Rakesh said...

Wow! What a pleasure it must have been!

hpy said...

JE suis certaine que tu as passé une bonne soirée, comme un poisson dans l'eau!

Olivier said...

j'aime bien cette vue d'en haut du concertiste, cela rend tres bien.

claude said...

Tu en as de la chance. Tu es un privilégié.
J'aime bien Chopin et Liszt aussi.
J'aime bien aussi ces ateliers d'artistes, ça me rappelle le neuf de la rue campagne.

babbler said...

Truly magnificent! Thank you for the window in to your very unique experience! I enjoyed it immensely!!
Love, Mrs. Slug

SusuPetal said...

Oh, what a splendid event! Concert, Degas' home, champagne.
I envy your life, Peter, I really do!

joanny said...

Peter,

What a special day you had a truly wonderful experience. I am glad you are the 'Prolific' photography that you are, for we get to enjoy it once again through the lens of your camera.

Merci,
Joanny

Denise said...

how special...and fascinating!

ParisBreakfasts said...

WOW! Excellent!
Was that the scrappy RED door you made me take a picture during our walze through the 9th arr.?
Although I suppose Degas had more than one residence in Paris...

Kate said...

The concert certainly was a special occasion. Music warms the heart!

Cezar and Léia said...

oh gosh, I'm so envious I must confess! :)Lucky Peter!
For sure a special moment, thanks so much for sharing your "adventures in the world music art"!
** about your comment, hummm you are right, we were not traveling so much, daughter with lots of tests at school, I had recoverd of an awful bronchites,and so on...But we are going out now for some days.See you next Monday!
hugs
Leia
** thanks for the video, I will learn more about this pianist!

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Peter
How lucky you are to be invited to such an event.. and incredibly where Renoir and Tooulouse-Lautrec once lived...

Well you have been posting up a storm and I've missed quite a few.. gorgeous posts.. each and every one.. and once again... I miss travelling and everything that comes with it...

Thanks for the birthday wishes. I just noticed in your profile you are a May baby also and Taurean... must be soon? Best wishes for the imminent birthday... and we get the presents with your wonderful photos... take care xx Julie

Carole said...

Bonjour Peter,
Sacré privilège en effet....
A bientôt !

Abraham Lincoln said...

This really appealed to me, Peter. I am familiar with all these artists and have studied many of them. To see where they once lived is a bonus.

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

What a wonderful-sounding time. :) And that list of names in the post is certainly impressive! That area has quite an artistic pedigree. Thank you for sharing an insider's view.

Louis la Vache said...

«Louis» would have loved to have heard this!

Paul said...

Thank you for the many photograph of the apartment Boulevard de Clichy though i like much great music.

Shammickite said...

Ah... you are indeed a member of the priviledged few! What a wonderful concert. And in such a location steeped in creation and art history. Lucky you, Peter! I wonder if it was in honour of your birthday?

Starman said...

It's good to be famous.

Catherineson said...

Si on ne connait pas le code .....on fait comment pour rentrer ? On prend la nationalité suédoise ?

Un bel angle pour cette première photo.

Harriet said...

Love that top photo. It's interesting that the individual keys cannot be differentiated...a continuous white....

Oh to have been there and heard the music of Chopin....I'm definitely jealous. I was practicing Chopin this morning, but would have preferred to have been at this concert!

Corine said...

What an honor! Thanks for making us a part of it. So much wonderful history, it must have seemed magical.

Cergie said...

Il ne te reste plus qu'à te faire inviter par Frédéric ou avoir son code...
:)
Un merveilleux endroit pour un atelier d'artiste mais l'accoustique était-elle bonne ?
(Ma tarte à la rhubarbe le déjeuner est prête, j'ai enfourné le poulet et vais éplucher les patates. Bon jeudi, Peter)

JM said...

Judjing from the video, it must have been a wonderful concert!

arabesque said...

hi peter, watch a small clip from the video and the sound doesn't do justice to its music at all. ^0^
it must be an engaging night, one that's spectacular to say the least.
glad you share this with us.

ps: we're friends right?!
so you'll share me the entrance code one of these days...kiddin. ^0^

Cheryl said...

Must have been such a wonderful evening! I love concerts like that. And his home! What a dream place! Oh, to have a studio like that...

Jeanie said...

What a special evening, Peter! I love Chopin -- to hear it in such a setting would be beyond belief!

krystyna said...

When I lived in Poland
I sometimes been in private concerts.
Living in U.S. it happened to me only two times in 10 years.
So, with pleasure I read your post. I love classical music and
Helge Antoni made my day.

Helge Antoni has performed in Poland also.

Thank you Peter for sharing!

Jeanie said...

I'm glad Rick forwarded me your email and I linked here. I noted that I commented before, but it means much more now, having been part of (or at least aware of!) the Mysterious Barricades conversation that lovely day in Montmartre!