In the afternoon we walked to the Cathédrale Sainte Croix des Aemeniens about 3 km east of our apartment to attend three recitals. Along the way we saw a lot of interesting triangular buildings, some women on a building holding up a balcony, and we walked through a large flea market before we got to the church. The church was old and not in the best repair, but the acoustics were phenomenal. The first recital was Youn Soon Lee on piano. She played Beethoven so well her playing was like listening to an orchestra. The pieces she played were light and showy with lots of flashy runs and arpeggios that she would build up, pull down, build up, pull down and build up again until she brought the pieces to their explosive climaxes. Ms Lee’s performance was magnificent.
After the first recital we walked down to a restaurant/bar and got coffee before the next recital. The area we were in had a lot of art studios and private art galleries, the bars were filled with people, and the streets bustled with people walking, riding bikes and navigating cars through the crowds making their way to and from the flea market.
I didn’t think we could hear much better than Ms. Lee’s performance, but Miran Dévétak’s interpretation of List and Fauré was nothing short of phenomenal. List was heavy, complex and melodic, punctuated with fits of quick runs and dynamic, loud sets of chords. Fauré was a little lighter with a modern (1900sh) rhythm, and very quick, complex fingerings that Mr. Dévétak executed flawlessly.
The third recital was a violin/piano duet by Eun Bi Gang on violin and Jean Dube on piano. They were also fantastic performers. Ms Gang started by doing a solo of Martinon Sonatine No 5 op 32. The piece had some amazing secondary rhythms that she played under the melody, which was really remarkable. Mr. Dube accompanied her on the piano on Bach’s Sonate 2 Andante, Mozart Concerto No 5 1st Movement and Tchaikovsky’s Concerto op 35 1st movement.
On our way to Notre Dame in the morning, we came across a bird market that had cages and cages of small parrots, parakeets and finches. While I was photographing flowers (the poppies were huge) and roses in the garden behind Notre Dame, I came across an early bird getting worms.