Sinfonietta Cocktails and Conversations Soirée
I am finally getting to posting about this fantastic event that I attened at the end of April. It’s one of those types of events that you jump at the chance to attend because these social and cultural gatherings can be so unlike the trypical Parisian soirée. It is aparantly very anglo-saxon to gather and be social after a concert or something. Parisians don’t tend to mingle easily with people they don’t know. Which I find strange since if you consider the monument the Opera de Paris, it was created to allow the masses and classes to mingle during intermissions, but I am sure they did a lot more of stand-offish oggling than mingling. Parisians stick to their own generally speaking. Only since social media has shrunk the world have they learned in Paris not to be so wary of strangers at public events. So Sinfonietta’s cocktails and Conversations was a great chance to be able to mingle and be social after a gorgeous concert.
The concert was perfect. We heard Poulenc, Bach (love!) and Mozart; set in the stunning venue Elephant Paname. This incredible building was inhabited for decades by a bank. And renovations revealed the beautiful walls and wood flooring, moldings on the ceiling that harmonize with the light that enters through the tall French windows. This is a center for art and dance, and so you may even cross paths with some of the dancers of the Paris Opéra ballet which is just a few steps away. There are plenty of dance classes to sign up for at the venu, so head over there o grab some brochures and chose one.
But back to the concert. The room was set up for three musicians. A piano one one side of the room gave a beautiful contrast to the lightened wood of the floors and ceiling.The room flled up as we waited for the concert to begin. Michaele Boone who is the artistic director of the chamber orchestra began by introducing the project and their partnership with the Elephant Paname, and then the three musicians were presented. Young musicians with promising talent that are starting their careers are the focus of Mr Boone’s endeavor. And a noble one it is. Not often to people offer such beautiful opportunities to budding artistic careers.
If you want to help further the careers of some of these budding artists, you can donate and join the exclusive circles of Sinfonietta. Here is a link to the document you can print (I uploaded it to the internet). You fill it out and send to the address indicated with your donation attatched. (Documents in French, and checks must be French). Online payment is possible.
The three musicians we heard were Nicole Léon on the violin, Marie Ythier on the cello and Guillaume Sigier on the piano. Marie Ythier’s solo performance of Bach’s suites was stunning and gave me the chills. She is an amazing cellist, and I hope she goes far in her career. We heard Sonata for violin and piano by the composer Poulenc, interpreted by Nicole Léon and Guillaume Sigier. The piece in three movements was writen in the memory of the Spanish poet Frederico Garcia Lorca who was shot down by fascists in 1936. It was full of highs and low moments, very sweet at times and melancholy at others.
This was followed by Marie Ythier playing Bach’s first suite for cello. I really don’t have words to say how stunning it really was. there is something about Bach that just hits me right in the middle. There is an amzing power in his music no matter how smooth or soft. It makes me stop in my tracks when I hear it, in oder to concentrate solely on the beauty of those notes that seem so profound. The cello for me is the most beautiful of instruments.
The third piece we heard was Mozarts trio for violin, cello and piano KV 502. This was writen after the “fail” of his opera the maraige of Figaro which was banned from being played after showing only a few times. The movement rings clear and fresh. Mozart was obviously looking to change his direction for a summer’s moment (it was composed in the summer of 1786).
After the concert we were welcomed in another gorgeous hall at the Elephant Paname for some delicious wine and hors d’oeuvres, and had the chance to speak with the musicians, the artistic director, other concert attendees and the Sinfonietta team (of which there is now Patricia of Patricia Parisienne and Lauren of A 50lb Wardrobe) This makes me really happy because Patricia was the winner last year of the tickets I gave away in a contest for a Sinfonietta concert and now she is working for them!
If you want to attend one of these priveledged evenings, get tickets for the upcoming concerts June 18th and 19th! A new venu is to be discovered : the Institut Finlandais. Escape the tourist crowd at the Sainte Chapelle and go see a Sinfonietta concert. It is the perfect way to spend an evening in Paris. And maybe you’ll see me there!