Yesterday I was able to attend the very beginning of the AVA’s concert “Artists, Auteurs, et Animaux”. It was a multi-disciplinary concert that included a lecture from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and while the musicians sang La Travail du peintre, settings of Jean Cocteau’s poetry to Francis Poulenc’s music, the flashed the pictures of the artists and their work on the screen behind. I was disappointed not to have a translation of the music, even though Cocteau’s work is non-sensical, I still feel I would have enjoyed at least reading the original French, as otherwise I had to rely on the French diction of American music students to hear the text, which I could not distinguish. The AVA building at 20th and Spruce is a sight to see in itself, and the voices are fine ones, so I would encourage people to go back for their Don Giovanni April 30th through May 15th

After the show I joined my brother and his partner Paul at the Kimmel Center, where they’d heard the Curtis Symphony Orchestra perform Messiaen’s Turangalîla-symphonie. This is a 20th century orchestra piece, and they found it challenging, but got a kick out of the onde Martineau and the strange audience member’s reactions to it, and early electronic instrument that sounds similar to the theramin, which can be played without the instrumentalist’s hands touching the instrument. Afterwards we stayed for the light show on the Eiffel Tower, which is every evening during the festival at 10pm.

onde Martineau

Today I am headed to Basil’s Twist’s puppet version of Petrushka at the Annenberg Center, and to see the talk before it at Penn.

And then I’ll start to get to know Keren Ann, a versatile singer who will perform with the Roots’ ?uestlove this Sunday at the Kimmel Center in Philly-Paris Lockdown, a paean to the Paris of the early 1900s infusing modern instrumentation and hip-hop with the work of iconic period composers like Satie, Debussy, Ravel, and Stravinsky. I’m particularly interested to know more about Keren Ann since my own singing experience is varied and includes classical and pop elements, so I imagine I’m going to be inspired and learn a thing or two from her broad experience. And for your party-ers out there, the show will be followed by a DJ set in the Perelmen Theatre. 

Keren Ann by Jean-Baptiste Mondino
 And stay tuned for more on Olga Kern, who will give a piano recital at Longwood Gardens this Friday!
Olga Kern photographed by Fernando Baez
Off to Philly …

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