Sinfonietta Paris: An Evening Of Music & Wine
Last month I had the pleasure of attending a “Cocktails and Conversations” evening hosted by the Sinfonietta Paris Chamber Orchestra. This international ensemble was founded in 2011 and brings together young and talented music professionals. These youngsters are all at the beginning of their careers and they participate in a series of concerts in Paris throughout the year. Each concert hosts different musicians and different music, making each season’s programme unique and varied.
The event took place at the Institut Finlandais (Finnish Institute), which is an intimate location at the heart of Paris. You’re seated on a first-come, first-served basis so arriving a few minutes in advance is advisable. However, as the room is quite small, you’re guaranteed to get a good view and be able to hear the music. Before the music began, the founder of this group explained what exactly the Sinfonietta Orchestra is and how they came to be. What started as quite a small organisation now boasts some of the most talented young musicians from around the globe. The focus of this orchestra is to connect talented musicians with engaged audiences. It was great to hear from the founder himself as this gave the whole evening a very ‘personal’ feel, which was great. This introduction was in both English and French so this is an evening for both anglophones and francophones.
The programme for the evening included a long number by Johannes Brahms that lasted for around forty minutes, followed by much shorter pieces by Astor Piazzola. Brahms is a well-known and well-loved composer, but I’d never heard of Piazzola before so it was great to discover some new music. The full programme was as follows:
Brahms: Piano Trio No. 1 in B major, Op. 8
I Allegro con moto – Tempo un poco più Moderato – Schnell
II Scherzo: Allegro molto – Trio: Più lento – Tempo primo
III Adagio non troppo – Allegro – Tempo prim
IV Finale: Allegro molto agitato
Piazzolla: Libertango—Oblivion—Milonga del angel
The trio was made up of three international musicians: Rika Masato on the violin, Dmitry Silvian on the cello and Kana Okada on the piano. They have all won numerous prizes around the globe, a very impressive record for such young musicians. What I loved about this trio was that they were obviously all very passionate about their music. What’s more, that they really loved performing with each other. Every few minutes they’d look up and give each other encouraging smiles, which was lovely to see. You could tell that really put their heart and soul into their playing and the music was simply beautiful (and very impressive!)
There was about one hour of music in total and then, after much applause, we moved onto the wine. At the back of the room was a table with many bottles of red wine, baguettes, cheese and charcuterie. A very cultured and French evening all round! The musicians stuck around after their performance for anyone that wanted to talk to them or ask them questions. It’s rare that you actually get to meet the musicians after a recital so this really is a unique opportunity for music-lovers.
All in all, I’d highly recommend this evening to anyone looking to do something a little different in Paris. At just €25 a head these tickets really aren’t pricey given that you are treated to a performance by talented musicians. Not to mention the copious amounts of wine and nibbles. I played the piano for over 10 years but my guest has no real interest in music and we both had a very enjoyable evening so don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!
The next Cocktails and Conversations evening will take place at 8pm on Saturday 2nd April and at 4pm on Sunday 3rd April.
For more information about Sinfonietta Paris, please visit their website: www.sinfoniettaparis.org
*I received complimentary tickets in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. All photos are the property of Laura Hartley.