Friday, April 02, 2010

Paris-March 2010

All concerts took place at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées

Riccardo Muti and Joshua Bell and the Philharmonia Orchestra

Riccardo Muti

Riccardo acknowledging the applause

Joshua Bell after his encore

Riccardo and the Philharmonia Orchestra acknowledging the exuberant applause

Ceiling of the concert hall Théâtre des Champs-Elysées

Orchestre National de France and Kurt Masur-conductor

Kurt Masur

Orchestre National de France at the Theâtre des Champs-Elysées

L'Orchestre Symphonique des 100 Violons Tziganes de Budapest

after intermission

Tour Eiffel from the intersection of Av. George V and Av. Montaigne after a performance at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées

Completed in 1989, I. M. Pei Pyramid entrance to the Louvre

Hôtel Château Frontenac on Av. Pierre Charron, 8ème

First of all, for the month of March the weather was unusually mild and sunny.  My first concert was the Philharmonia Orchestra with Riccardo Muti, conductor, and Joshua Bell, violin soloist.  It had been a sold out performance for weeks.  As we approached the concert hall, Théâtre des Champs-Elyées, there were many people holding signs asking to buy your ticket!  And no wonder!  It was a magical evening that I will always treasure.

Beethoven Concerto for violin and orchestra in D Major, op. 61
Part 1- Click;
Part 2-Click
Part 3-Click
After thunderous applause and clapping and a standing ovation, Joshua rewarded us with Henri Vieuxtemps's Souvenir d'Amèrique (Yankee Doodle variations).   

Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major op.55  "Héroïque" or "Eroica"

The audience went wild with enthusiasm, clapping, stamping of feet, shouts of Bravo, showering him with flowers until Muti and the orchestra returned to play Franz Schubert's Entr'acte d'Amour from Rosamunde.  I could not help thinking what a great lover and actor Muti must have been and probably still is at age 68.

Legendary Maestro Riccardo Muti discusses conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra as he prepares for the Orchestra's 65th Birthday Gala Concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London.  Click

I could not find a good recording of Entr'acte d'Amour that exemplified the passion, the ardor, the fire that Muti elicited from the Philharmonia

For a recording of Schubert's Ballet from Rosamunde-- Click here.

Muti will debut as music director of the highly acclaimed Chicago Symphony Orchestra on September 19, 2010.  Muti, 68, noted that he first conducted the CSO in his 30's, but then was out of contact with the orchestra for more than three decades.  "Then [when he was in his 30's], you had a young man, and now I hope you won't get the ruins," he said, laughing.  "But I think I am like the best Italian wine.....with the age, it becomes better."

Music Director Riccardo Muti and musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra discuss their close relationship as the CSO welcomes Maestro Muti for the 2010/2011 seasonClick here.

Riccardo Muti conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in J. Strauss II's Csárdás from his opera Ritter Pazman in New Year's concert January 1, 2000. Click here.

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of revered maestro Riccardo Muti, will headline this summer’s İstanbul International Music Festival, the organizers of İstanbul’s eagerly awaited annual celebration of classical music, announced on Monday.

Orchestre National de France with Kurt Masur, conductor, in a program of
Tchaikovsky: Romeo et Juliette
Bernstein: West Side Story, danses symphoniques
Prokofiev: Romeo et Juliette, Suites
I was stunned to realize how much Masur has aged since I last saw him perform.  The audience loved him and applauded enthusiastically.

L'Orchestre Symphonique des 100 Violons Tziganes de Budapest with Sandor Buffó Rigó, conductor, in a program of Brahms, Kodály, Liszt, Rossini, De Saraste, Strauss, Tchaikovsky

Although the orchestra is called 100 Violins, I counted 11 basses, 8 cellos, a number of flutes and clarinets and 6 (!) tzambals (also called cymbalom) along with all the violins.
Extracts from their live concert in Athens 2009, in which they offered the same selections that we heard in Paris on 29 March, 2010----Click.  
Czardas by Vittorio Monti, featuring the violinist and clearly showing the tzambals--Click.  


  1. Hello, Mary.
    Thank you for posting this.
    I also like Muti's work, but I think that he is rather conservative concerning his love life.
    Is Riccardo a womaniser, do you know?

  2. I don't know anything about Riccardo's personal life. My comment was intended only to convey the ardor, the fervor, the fire that he elicited from the musicians...and only that. Please note that I also mentioned what a great actor he must have been and still is. Not only does Muti conduct but also he performs! He envelops himself completely in the music.