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Monday, July 28, 2014

Paris In July: Finding Your Own Music

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One last Paris In July post (check Thyme for Tea for other great links!) For the music lover, Paris is an auditory delight. Join me on a mini-musical tour!


Clearly, the easiest music to find is that on the street and in the Metro. They don't just let "anyone" have street space here, so you can count on something rather beautiful. For the most part, you'll find the lone violinist or a small group with their relatively portable instruments. But at Place de Vosges we spent a rather long time enjoying the beautiful harp music of this young man.


For something more formal, check out the Paris Opera Garnier. The lobby itself is a masterpiece, but imagine sitting in this beautiful theatre as you enjoy some of the greatest operas and ballets ever written.


(The Chagall ceiling isn't bad, either!).


Of course, if you are more the student, venture below to the opera's museum where you will find volumes of musical scores, paintings, set models and costumes from productions and many special exhibits.


Feeling classical?


You'll find numerous opportunities to hear free or inexpensive music in churches with their magnificent organs. But for a slightly more expensive and almost celestial experience, check out the chamber concerts in La Sainte Chapelle.


I've been to two of these and yes, they do play the lollipops (as Rick calls the "Pachelbel Canon" and "Four Seasons"). But they play them well.


And face it -- do you really come for the music or the incredible experience of enjoying this magnificent church and the light that dances on the floor from the renowned stained glass windows? (I'm not sure how this plays out in winter with it getting darker early, but in the summer it's pure joy to enter with the light pouring through and by the end, the sun has gone down, casting lovely shadows.)


The performers are always happy to meet after the show -- and sell a CD or two!

 
Of course, if you are musically inclined yourself, a trip to Rue du Rome's music stores should be on your list. Shopping for sheet music is an almost overwhelming experience.


And if you're not so good -- well, they have something for that, too!


My personal classical guitarist sampled guitars in several stores, including two specialty guitar stores in the Rue du Rome area.

 
We enjoyed impromptu concerts by the store owners which were simply delightful...



... and Rick had the opportunity to audition guitars.


 We also learned valuable information on the instruments, their history and makers..



You'll find music stores elsewhere, of course, just not so concentrated. On Avenue Bonmarchais, we were also able to chat with the luthier.


Then after, Rick offered his own concert, more uditioning guitars.


Of course, one of the most delightful ways to enjoy music is simply to encounter it. And a stop at a cafe or walk down one of any number of Parisian streets will bring a find and musical end to your day.


This is part of the Paris In July blog post party. You can find more posts on Paris at Thyme for Tea at the left side of the page! 

 Check them out -- you'll discover new books, films, photos and travel info!

22 comments:

Barb said...

Lucky you, to have a classical guitarist to entertain you! I loved walking Paris with you, Jeannie - that stained glass is very beautiful!

Mae Travels said...

You didn't mention music on the radio... Paris had (maybe still does) a radio orchestra for ages, and a whole building near the Seine for broadcasting music and other programming. I loved listening to classical music on the radio in my various apartments there. So many Paris ideas!

Lovely images as always... mae

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Oh, my, I can imagine how magnificent it must be to sit in a lovely chapel and listen to music! And a harpist playing on the street would be such a treat. :-)

wordsandpeace.com said...

superbe! merci

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

Great tips for music lovers! I would love to hear a concert in Sainte Chapelle. What a magnificent place!

Esme said...

Just perfect-I went to a concert at St. Chapelle at night and it was so lovely.

vicki (skiourophile) said...

"pour les nuls" gave me such a giggle - what a wonderful translation. There is so much music advertised around Paris, isn't there? - I have added a concert in Sainte-Chapelle to my wishlist for a future trip -- what a fabulous setting that must be. Lovely Paris post!

littleRamstudio said...

Your photo of the evening cafe is so reminiscent of that very famous Van Gogh painting!
Heather :)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

The harp....my love. I need to get new strings for mine so I can play again! Jeanie, this was a divine tour today! MUSIC + PARIS = DIVINITY!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

What a fun post! I have seen 2 concerts at St. Chapelle and definitely recommend that others do that. I will say it's better in the summer when the stained glass windows are lit up. I went on my last trip in late November and it was actually REALLY cold in there (it must not be heated?) and it was dark by the time the show started. But I am still glad I went!

Have you heard of the book "The Piano Shop on the Left Bank"? It's a really fun read. A lot of it is about the history of the piano but a good chunk of the book is about this quirky guy who knows a second hand piano shop and insists on matching people with their pianos (instead of letting the customer pick it out for themself). It was a good read.

Joanne Huffman said...

Such a pleasant auditory tour!

shoreacres said...

So two of my favorites are "lollipops", huh? Oh, well. I have a sudden devilish urge to send Rick the CD that's out, with sixteen versions of the Canon in D on it. Of course, I have a copy. ;)

That photo of the cafe at night is, of course, the living essence of the famous Van Gogh painting. And isn't that the heart of Paris - the living link between art and life?

Friko said...

You are a lucky pair, Paris in summer and all the sounds of music you could wish for.

I like the lollipop definition; some music is just too great for its own sake and will become played to death. But who cares? Just listen to it as if for the first time.

~*~Patty S said...

What an absolute delight your photos and tour are dear Jeanie ♥!!!
WOW!
That Chagall ceiling really takes my breath away
oxo

Vagabonde said...

I’d love to hear good guitar playing – lucky you! What a nice post on music in Paris and I enjoyed all the photos.

gigihawaii said...

Lovely post. I especially admire the stained glass window. And Pachelbel Canon is one of my favorites.

Louise said...

What a fabulous post. So inspiring. I've visited Sainte Chapelle twice, and seen the posters for the concerts- I would so love to attend one there. Musical highlights that I have enjoyed were a Gospel Dream Concert, Fete de la Music, and Hugh Masekala at the Paris Jazz Festival. I'd love to see more music in Paris.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I do love the music in Paris, from the free concerts in the M├ętro to the elegant classical presentations in churches. The architecture lends itself to majestic music.

Love this musical stroll through Paris!

Bises,
Genie

Brona Joy said...

Thank you - I've now added a concert at La Sainte Chapelle to my TBV list :-)

Heidi’sbooks said...

The Chapel is beautiful. I must see it some day! Thanks for the post.

I need orange said...

I love the way you are picking topics and going into them in detail.... You saw things I've never seen -- I've never traveled with a musician! :-)

Marilyn said...

I remember when you posted about the guitar store. I have experienced two concerts at St. Chappelle also. It is just amazingly wonderful. Street performers are always so delightful in Paris also. Oh the reminiscences.

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