For a chance to listen to an hour and a half of classical music in a gilded and chandelier lit atmosphere, go to a Jeunes Talents (young talent) concert.
One September Saturday afternoon a few years ago, after a walking tour ended at the Hôtel de Soubise, we stepped into the museum. Although the museum had closed, we were invited to attend a chamber music concert. We have been going back ever since.
The concerts held in the National Archives building (Hôtel de Soubise) in the Marais are great value for the money. Music begins at 6 p.m. in opulent surroundings and is a perfect pause before dinner after a long day of sightseeing.
In the Chambre du Prince, you are surrounded by walls framed in relief sculptures in rooms lit by chandeliers reflected in ornate gold-framed mirrors above the marble chimneys. The décor and twisted gold candelabras on the wall seem to speak a story all their own.
The first two concerts that year featured the works of Wolf, Poulenc, Caplet (Shigeko Hata, soprano, and Karolos Zouganelis, piano) and the “romantic and modern” works of Scarlatti, Beethoven, Chopin, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Liszt (Eric Artz, piano).
The young musicians (between 18 and 25) perform chamber music with a variety of instruments, for example, soprano voices, harpsichord, violin, cello and piano. Often they have already won prestigious awards. The Jeunes Talents Web site provides dates, times and participants for upcoming concerts. The Jeunes Talent season schedule is located on the “Agenda” page.
Jeunes Talents is an association, created in 1998, whose goal is to organize concerts for young professional musicians. Keeping classical music alive performed by fresh young talent is another objective of the association.
What he is saying in French at the concert?!
At the beginning of each concert at Hotel de Soubise, Laurent Bureau, the founder of Jeunes Talents, gives a short discourse covering various topics. The following is a list of his topics so you will not wonder about the content:
- Explains that there will be two drawings for concert tickets (keep your tickets handy for the drawing)
- Asks you to turn off your cell phone
- You can make reservations on the internet now and choose your seats. You can pick up your tickets at the door. Before it was either on the telephone Monday through Friday or before the concert, two methods still in force.
- The seats are numbered (in the past there were two categories: reserved and non-reserved)
- Please meet the musicians in the main hall and not the small entry way to the seating. The volunteers must put away the chairs after the concert because the Chambre du Prince is part of the museum and the chairs have to be arranged.
- And he gives you a brief history of the hotel/ museum.
We go often, but he always makes the information sound fresh.
Unless you know all of the compositions by heart, it is best to follow the lead of the French for applause; they know the signals.
In 1808 the French government acquired the Hôtel de Soubise. The Hôtel de Soubise and Hôtel Rohan are in the Marais’ third arrondissement. For additional history on the Hôtel de Soubise visit the Hôtel de Soubise Archives Nationales Web site– (use Google Translate for the sites).
Jeunes Talents at the National Archives (Archives Nationales)
Every Saturday at 6 p.m.
Hôtel de Soubise
60, rue des Francs-Bourgeois – 75003 Paris
Métro: Rambuteau (Line 11) / Métro: St Paul (Line 1)
Information and reservations Monday to Friday 9 – 6 p.m.
Telephone: 01 40 20 09 34
Tickets: On line or day of the concert
Two for the price of one – day of the concert; 30 minutes before the concert; depends on availability.
To reserve on line visit their “Accueil” page and click on “Réserver en ligne>>”.
Your HOTEL and APARTMENT RESERVATION is a contribution to maintenance costs of my Web site. Using GOOGLE helps, too. THANKS!