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.
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!