Varied and impressive!!. Besides Notre Dame there are over a hundred churches and cathedrals in this city, and still mostly religiously active. But especially music concerts are another public use because the sounds can be terrific and they are available venues. We experienced two extremes.

In the Church of St.Louis (named after a crusader) we listened to an organ concert from the newly renovated build-in machine. And a machine it is, the front you see is fake, the pumps, boxes and gears are build behind that looking like an engine. The organist is very young. The few organ churches are popular for many young musicians, and the music is newly studied. It’s hard to get a gig because of fights between the church (that runs the boards) and the city that owns the assets (most church buildings on the whole aren’t church property anymore). So who decides?

‘Pulling out all the stops’ makes more sense to me now. You see the stops and registers next to the keyboards in the wall and marked for sound and pitch. This can thunder all right.

Several of the top hits of the Holy Roman Church passed the revue:

Dietrich Buxtehude (1637 – 1707)
Toccata en fa majeur Bux 156

George Böhm (1616 – 1733)
Vater unser im Himmelreich

Pablo Bruna (1611 – 1679)
Tiento de 2e Tono Sobre la Letania de la Virgen

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)
Fantaisie en fa mineur KV 594

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750)
Sonate no 1 en mi bémol majeur BWV 525
alegro moderato, adagio, allegro

Johan Sebastian Bach
Fantaisie et Fugue en do mineur BWV 537.

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Then another concert was that of Stockhausen’s In Mikrophonie I . In the Église Saint-Ephrem where I walked by hearing the final rehearsals in the afternoon.

Wikipedia says this about it: Two percussionists play a large gong with a variety of  implements. Another pair of players use hand-held microphones to amplify subtle details and noises, inflecting the sound through quick (and precisely scored) motions. The last two performers, seated in the audience, apply resonant bandpass filters to the microphone outputs and distribute the resulting sounds to a quadraphonic speaker system.

The music score is art into itself.

mikrophonie-stockhausen mikrophoniestockhausen

Categories: Art, Places

One Response so far.

  1. Beanie says:

    Very cool!

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