Well, it took 3 years and 2 cancellations, but I finally saw pianist Helene Grimaud in concert last friday.
Hélène Grimaud and Symphonic Orchestra of SWR Baden-Baden and Fribourg, directed by Michael Gielen.
Part 1 (without HG)
Arnold Schoenberg - Transfigured Night: opus 4
Sehr langsam - Etwas bewegter - Schwer betont - Sehr breit und langsam - Sehr ruhig
Part 2 (with HG)
Johannes Brahms - Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83
Allegro non troppo - Allegro appasionato - Ardante - Allegreto grazioso
The first minutes were very emotional for me, and brought me to tears O_O
Though I'm at loss to explain why, since Helene Grimaud didn't participate to it, and it wasn't music I know. I suspect my brain or ears are overly sensitive to some harmonics, and that hearing an ensemble of violins etc live overloads my mind.
Because it did the same to me at the previous (and only other) classical concert I attended, in Amsterdam.
Past those first minutes, though, I got... slightly bored.
Because I'm totally clueless about classical music, I didn't know these particular pieces, so I didn't know what to listen to. Yeah, I know, "music". But it wasn't... catchy. My brain is formatted for 5-min long pieces with lyrics, and structured with refrains and stuff.
Besides, I was on the 4th floor, way too far to see the musicians' expressions, so I couldn't have any empathic experience, either. I had forgotten to buy binoculars like I had meant to.
So, it was totally anti-climactic, since it had been so long that I was not that interested anymore into Helene Grimaud herself. In between, I had read her autobiography. And uh... Dunno. I guess it was enough for my curiosity about her as a person.
Also, I'm not sure she's all that good a pianist after all?
beadpixie played with her (she was half the reason why I went to the Amsterdam concert), and from her lack of comments about it, as well as comments from other concertists I read later, and her repeated cancellations, I wonder if she's... really good.
So she may not be that good a "doorway" to learn about that type of music.
I wasn't the only "barbarian" in the place, though, as a spectator clapped at the end of one movement, only to be shushed angrily by someone else ;)
I was curious to do the whole "classical concert in Paris", though, so I still went and treated myself to the whole, very posh experience of "night at the opera in Paris". I amused the staff, I think, because it looks like it was obvious that I wasn't used to it. Or maybe I'm imagining things, either way they were really nice to me, in a vaguely affectionate way that I'm not used to encounter in Paris service :P
I sat at the café / foyer on the second floor for a drink, with a nice sight of the Place du Châtelet.
At the interval, I climbed up to the open terrace, and did the touristy thing of taking pictures. Since I knew I probably wouldn't have many other occasions to take pictures of Paris from that height in that place, and the sight was beautiful. Too bad it wasn't night time yet. Getting only a bit dark.
sight from the terrace of Theatre du Chatelet : tour Saint-Jacques - finally getting out of its wrapping...
*sigh* Ah, Paris