In Thursday’s (1/15) New York Times, Anthony Tommasini writes about the opening of “the Philharmonie de Paris, the new concert hall for the Orchestre de Paris and the final linchpin in a decades-long project to turn a park on the northeast rim of this city into a major cultural center … The Philharmonie opened, as planned, on Wednesday night with the Orchestre de Paris in a substantive and challenging program conducted by its music director, Paavo Järvi. The performance was dedicated to the victims of the [Charlie Hebdo] massacre. If anything embodies free speech and the pursuit of enrichment in life, it is music and culture. Before the concert there were speeches … President François Hollande… received a prolonged ovation when he entered the hall for the concert … The exterior of the building is an exhilarating sight, covered in some 340,000 cast-aluminum pieces meant to suggest birds. … What matters most, though, is the concert hall. And from first impressions it seems acoustically marvelous. … The program, though planned long ago to show a range of French musical styles and sonorities, made a powerful memorial.” The program included works by Varèse, Dutilleux, Fauré, Ravel, and a world premiere, Thierry Escaich’s Concerto for Orchestra.

Posted January 16, 2015