Synergy represented by:

Rachel Weston, Micaela Haslam, Heather Cairncross, Amy Haworth

More pretty Paris

Pretty Paris

“Wonderful, as always, to be back with EIC in Paris and great to work with François-Xavier Roth for the first time. We had sung Tehillim in concert only a few days earlier on the South Bank (with London Sinfonietta), so we were ahead of the game, but every performance is different so you can never be complacent, no matter how well you know a piece.

Heather, Amy and Rachel hard at work!

I had enjoyed Tom Adès’ rhythmically precise, somewhat “vertical” version of Tehillim the previous week. Now, François had a much more linear approach, with more “bounce” to the dotted crotchets. Both versions have their place and it’s always really interesting to do the piece with a conductor who is new to the piece. This time, we had 3 rehearsals over 3 days, so the players had more time to get used to the very tricky rhythms of Tehillim. I wonder how many consecutive bars are in the same time signature. I’ll check it out next time – I bet there aren’t many!

A singer's view of "Tehillim"

The most difficult decision we had to make each day was where to have dinner. Eating out in Paris is never a problem, of course, though choices are somewhat limited in the Porte de Pantin area where the Cité de la Musique (and our hotel for the week) is located. Fortunately, the café attached to the Cité is very good, and we also managed to find a wonderful French restaurant called La Poule au Pot just down the road. It is delightfully French in an old-fashioned sort of way. Both service and food were excellent, and I hope it never changes.

Take your pick!

La Poule au Pot

The following evening, we got more adventurous and headed down to Le Marais, where you are spoilt for choice. It might sound somewhat disloyal to the city, but we ended up in a very nice Italian restaurant. There is, after all, a limit to the amount of steak/frites one can consume in a week – or so they tell me!

The concert day finally came around and we had a good run-through of Tehillim in the morning. They say that you should have a bad dress rehearsal in order to have a good concert, but I’m happy to report that on 25th February 2011 in Paris, this theory was disproved! The rehearsal went really well and the concert was even better – a really spirited performance of Tehillim, I thought – and the audience loved it! I lost count of how many times we had to return to the stage for bows. There were slow hand-claps – the whole works! Then, the perfect end to our week in Paris was a delightful dinner after the show with François, and the EIC team. Lots of wine, delicious food and much merriment was had by all, and we’re looking forward to our next visit already…!”

François with Rachel, Amy and Heather


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