Emanuel Ax (piano) • conductor: Iván Fischer
Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in F minor
The Philharmonie de Paris is well on its way to becoming one of the main centres of the French capital’s already vibrant musical scene. Inaugurated in January 2015 by head of state François Hollande, it is one of the world’s newest and most modern concert halls. Interestingly, the Philharmonieis a one-of-a-kind institution in Paris. While the city boasts many concert halls of varying sizes and dedicated to different audiences, it had long lacked a hall that was truly suited to hosting large orchestras.
Built in the Parc de La Villette, the institution finds itself in the company of the already existing Music Museum, Le Zénith (which focuses mostly only popular music), and various multi-purpose theatre halls. Its auditorium seats 2,400, and visitors can even walk on its 52-meter high metal-structured roof. Jean Nouvel, perhaps the best-known celebrity French architect on the international scene, won the rights to design the Philharmonie de Paris in 2007. Nouvel received the Pritzker prize in 2008, for, according to the jury citation, the play of light, layers and transparencies as well as the stunning appearance of the building of the Parisian Arab World Institute. The Philharmonie, however, was received with considerably less fanfare. Accused of considerable delays and overspending, the architect retorted that these were not his responsibility, and that in fact he does not even consider the building to be finished, as the necessary technical and acoustical checks were not performed on it before its handover. Nouvel, who boycotted the inauguration for these reasons, later announced that he was taking legal action in order to correct the changes made to the building which did not follow the original plans. At any rate, finished or not, the hall is in operation and the Festival Orchestra has already performed in it several times. During its European tour, the concert programme begins here with Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3, the manuscript of which was discovered by Mendelssohn. Pianist Emmanuel Ax will be playing a true classic: Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor – a popular work despite its serious and profound mood. In the closing work, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, the composer struggles with impending doom, but ultimately prescribes happiness as a panacea for all. Online tickets