Friday, March 4, 2011

Still here!

Last night I went to hear Jay Gottlieb in a recital at the Collège des Bernardins. You know I love going to hear Jay play (here and here). The program last night was "Alterminimalismes". I'm supposing that means alternate minimalism, but who knows? Actually, this website gives you a better idea of the program. He shared the evening with another fellow, but since he played first, we did not stay for the rest. We were asked not to clap until the very end of his performance and that was frustrating because there were several times I wanted to clap. Jay's playing is moving and exciting. Most of all, I am fascinated by watching his hands. At times, his arms and wrists are not moving at all, but the fingers are a blur of activity. Other times, he's moving his arms -- never wildly; he's got every muscle under control. The pieces he played were quite varied. I enjoyed them all. Still, not the kind of music I'd have at home to listen to, so I'm glad I get to see Jay perform.
The Collège des Bernardins is a beautiful venue. This recital was in the Grand Auditorium, up on the second floor, under the roof, with seating for about 200 (my rough estimate). The acoustics are excellent. Friends were up at the very back and said they could see and hear perfectly. The Collège des Bernardins is worth visiting, if you have a chance, even without a special event to attend. It was built in the 13th century, as a school, part of the Sorbonne complex. It's on rue de Poissy, just off the rue des Ecoles, not far from Place Maubert. At the time, that would have been the eastern extremity of the Latin Quarter. This wikipedia page is in French; they don't seem to have en English translation. Paul was in on the restauration of it and told me that when they discovered the cellar, it had been flooded during at least one of the big floods. Mud had filled it up so that there was only a little space under the vaulting. When they dug it all out, they discovered a very high ceilinged vault -- beautiful. The building has returned to its original purpose - education. And these cultural events, like last night's recital.
Beth has said that she'd like to come to Paris and perform. I don't know how long the waiting list is to perform here, but I would encourage her to try to get it. I've listened to some of her pieces on MySpace and will try to buy her new album when we get back from our trip.


Ellen said...

Forgot to mention a particular impression I had while listening to Jay. There was one piece, very slow, precise. The piano actually sounded like chimes.

Ellen said...

Jay informs me that there are 280 seats.