19.1.15

"La Philharmonie" - open doors - Lang Lang


Paris has got a new concert hall – and much more – which opened last week, part of a music complex referred to as “La Philharmonie”. This new installation will be the home of two orchestras plus three associated orchestras. The major one, “Orchestre de Paris” (with musical directors like Münch, von Karajan, Solti, Barenboim, Bychkov, Eschenbach… and at present Paavo Järvi), has until now been especially linked to “Salle Pleyel” (see previous post). Many people regret that this prestigious concert hall now will lose its vocation. One item is the fact that “La Philharmonie” is situated in the extreme northeast of the city, which many may consider to be “far away”. The leading Paris classical music concert halls have until now been concentrated in the more fashionable central quarters. “La Philharmonie” is situated in the “Parc de la Villette” area (see previous post), where you already could find “La Cité de la Musique” (City of Music), “Le Zenith” (a concert hall for more “popular” music events)… On the map below, we can see the location of the more important classical music concert halls in Paris – and you can see what I have written about them, e.g. here and here.

Having visited the back stage of “Salle Pleyel”, I can understand the need to find more space for training, rehearsals... Other arguments given by the defenders of the new installation is the higher capacity (2400 seats) of the major concert hall (there are several), a new price policy and the chance to attract a new, maybe younger, public.

Here we can see what the outside …

… some of the open areas inside...

… and the major concert hall look like.

Actually, although now opening officially, some finishing jobs remain, outside as well as inside. The architect, Jean Nouvel, was not happy about this and did not join the inaugural concert last week.

Last weekend there were “open doors”. As said above, the new complex offers much more than the new concert hall. There are other more modest ones and there is a lot of space for rehearsals, training and learning. I got the chance to learn the violin during an hour – I may need a few hours more!

I then went to listen to a rehearsal for a concert which would follow later during the day – 100 young pianists on 50 pianos.


video
I will revert to this below, but while awaiting this concert, I visited the installations existing since 1995, now referred to as “Philharmonie 2” - whereas the new building is referred to as “Philharmonie 1”. Also here we can find some concert halls, learning space…

… and a spectacular museum with instruments from all over the world. I obviously concentrated my photos on some nice old 17th century harpsichords, some 19th century pianos, some old violins (by Stradivarius and others).  

I then queued up...

....for the concert by the 100 young piano players – now all dressed in blue tee-shirts. They had now become 101! Lang Lang (does he need a presentation?) gave them a “master class”!


I will be back this week for a more “normal” concert. :-) 

10 comments:

Peter Olson said...

Normally there should have been a video of the young piano players. When I opened it to check, my PC got black. When I now open from my iPhone or iPad, I see just some black space. ????

Kim said...

What a beautiful building! Thank you for this wonderful post introducing us to this new concert venue, Peter! I am one who fell in love with Parc de la Villette and the music and science campuses there. I spent a lot of time there on foot and on bicycle in 2011. I enjoyed also going out into the surrounding neighborhoods. I can imagine what a wonderful addition this is to an area that is very popular with Parisian young people and families. It seems the northeast of Paris, although it may seem to be "out there" from the central and more familiar touristic areas, really appeals young Parisians who are living their daily work lives. Seems to be a very "happening" part of town. Thank you for this extensive "peek." I can't wait to explore it myself!
-Kim

Thirtytwo degrees said...

I saw the video so it has changed since you wrote your post. I had seen this posted on Facebook but I turned to my laptop to see it again as the size is so totally different. I loved the video sound, and I read a good review from the Guardian that I also posted on Facebook. It is a shame that the architect is unhappy about the opening since it seems to have received such good reports. Thanks again, Peter, for your sharing this experience with us. I hope to see more of it when you go back again.

Alain said...

Assez massif dans l'ensemble.

Julie said...

Yes, the video was working fine for me, too, Peter. I suppose the architect was upset that his building was opened before it was complete. I can understand that.

Lang Lang is a wonderful younf musician. He has performed in Australia but I was not lucky enough to hear him.

Looking at your map of the established performing halls, it is apparent to me why this new one has been built where it is. I just hope that enough established musicians are booked to perform there so that it does not become a "white elephant".

That "polished concrete" style of finish is very popular at the moment. It is not to my taste, I am afraid.

Jeanie said...

What an amazing complex for learning and performing. I love the images you showed of how the pianos were placed. And it is very contemporary. But I think my favorite photos were of the museum exhibits and backstage areas. I have a feeling Rick would be wanting to see this on some future trip someday!

Thérèse said...

Bon "tu es bien branche" comme on dit.
La seule chose que j'ai entendu c'est au sujet du prix des billets un peu eleve, il faut rentabiliser maintenant et trouver de nouveaux moyens d'exploitation de ce magnifique lieu devenu necessaire. Avec les moyens de transport a Paris, pas d'excuse.

Studio at the Farm said...

I wonder how it will do, out of the central "downtown" area. I must admit, I like the look of the Salle Pleyel, inside and out, much better. Ah, well ...

claude said...

Ah ! La Marche Turque !
C'est peut-être bien à l'intérieur acoustiquement parlé mais de dehors c'est pas trop philharmonieux.

Merci Peter !

Anonymous said...



Will this virtuoso ever come to the Philarmonie?
Of all of Chopin's Nocturnes this one is outstanding.......

http://youtu.be/QOlF3tJLTUs

Lovely post, M. Peter!
Thank you
Maria