Thursday, May 21, 2009

jour no. 21 - Châtelet

On the strong recommendation of several friends, I made a point of going to a performance at Châtelet. My choice was the Orchestre symphonique de Navarre, with a program that included Stravinsky's Firebird - I'm a huge fan of Stravinsky's ballet music.

Also, it was a perfect choice, location-wise, as Ballets Russes performed for the first time at Châtelet, in 1909.

Châtelet is definitely less wacky than Garnier - it's smaller, more restrained, more serious. But it's still gorgeous, and feels very Parisian.

Firebird was of course my fave, but it was also a treat to hear two pieces by Manuel de Falla (1876-1946), including yet another Diaghilev connection, "El Sombrero de tres picos," or "Le Tricorne." Both Falla pieces included lots of traditional Spanish bits; you could hear some flamenco, a call to the bulls, lots of folk music.

A highlight, for me, was watching the two free agents on the percussion team race from instrument to instrument, clearly having the time of their lives: to the snare drums! grab the castanets! where's the triangle? slide over to the cymbals! then over to the xylophone! back to the snares! bust out the tambourine!

I've put Percussionist on the list of possible future careers.

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