This week-end we have in Nantes a famous international festival called 'La Folle Journée'. This is a unique concept, where music is running in about 6 different halls of various sizes (from 80 to 2000 seats), in parallel. It starts on wednesday evening, continues on thursday evening, and then, lasts from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm the three remaining days. Each concert lasts about 45'. Between concerts, you may have a drink, browse books in a library, listen some conferences by musicologists or chat with friends. Many concerts are recorded and/or broadcast at the radio or TV channel, as Arte, which is a german/french cultural channel of high quality.
This event takes place every year, the last week-end of January. It is greatly publicized in France, so much that it took me several years to attend it (I don't like to be influenced by commercials...). However, the first time I went to the Folle Journée (it was in '2000 for the Bach edition), I had to admit that it was really a fantastic music bath. Since that year, I make it without fault and great joy. This year the theme was 'Chopin and his friends'. Yesterday, I heard 7 concerts, starting by Bach (Pierre Hantaï on harpsichord), as Chopin used to start every day by some preludes and fugues of the WTC. Then I saw Yu Kosuge (fantastic Japanese pianist) in Mendelsohn, then the beautiful Koln Kammerchoir in a series of Händel arias (Haendel being the ideal composer for Frederic), then a Chopin recital by the marvellous spanish pianist Luis Fernando Perez, then a forgettable one by a French pianist (shame on us !) but finally a magnificent Liszt recital by another, this one great French pianist (Jean-Claude Pennetier). There were also other events which are given on a kind of central plaza, including some children orchestras etc.
Today I watched the TV with many other beautiful concerts... For those who are jealous not to live in Nantes, you may listen part of these concerts during three days:
http://sites.radiofrance.fr/francemusiq ... reecoute=1
You may either watch videos:
http://sites.radiofrance.fr/francemusiq ... =255000181
Next year, I would like to see some PS friends in Nantes...
Last thing: it appears that the 'Folle Journée' is exported in several countries now, included Portugal, Japan, Brasil etc.