Nov 3, 2010

Music for the soul, Palais Garnier

I was talking once with a Spanish girl about Paris when she told me that she didn’t like the city because she thought there was no culture, no art, and pretty much nothing to do. I was literally shock… what was she thinking? Did she really understand anything about the ways of life?

Last week I had the craving for some higher forms of musical expression, to delight my soul and clear for a moment the storm that rages within me. I was feeling like going to see some opera, a ballet, or a concert. I decided to go to a chamber music concert at the beautiful Palais Garnier; they were going to play music from Robert Schumman (1810-1856), Ernst Krenek (1900-1991), and Paul Hindemith (1895-1963). The last two musicians were new to me, never heard from them before… It was really nice to have the contrast of Schumman with the more modern sounds of Krenek and Hindemith that to my impression still sounds very random, though I’m sure it isn’t like that.

The ceiling of the concert hall, painted in 1964 by Marc Chagall

Going to the Palais Garnier is an amazing experience; it’s like time traveling to the XIX century. It’s so beautiful and luxurious, statues of the great composers here and there, marble of all colors, the gold, the red velvet and the satin. I particularly love the roof of the concert hall; it was painted in 1964, so colorful and vivid contrasting very much in style with the entire palace that was actually inaugurated in 1875, built in a neo-baroque style… as I just learnt.

If you ever get to be in Paris, you definitively have to come to the Palais Garnier and go to a show... It will transport you to a different world. And it isn’t that expensive, I paid 20 Euro for my ticket but it's possible to find tickets down to 8 Euro, which means that it’s pretty much accessible for anyone. It’s a great pity that most people believe that going to the opera is unaffordable, or that you have to go fully dressed up with gown and what not… though most people wouldn’t really find entertaining an opera show, a ballet, or a Beethoven’s symphony; so, I guess it doesn’t really matter.

Bravo! Bravissimo!

1 comment:

  1. Great! That's a place I like to go before I die...

    Uhhhmmm... And Paul Hindemith is a great musician, I do know him, not as good as Mozart, but I know him. Even his books about theory are good, I think.