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Work of the Week – Jörg Widmann – Au cœur de Paris

Banner Jörg Widmann

Jörg Widmann’s Au cœur de Paris (“In the heart of Paris”) was written in celebration of Orchestre de Paris’ 50th anniversary. The piece will be premiered on 1 November at the Philharmonie in Paris with Daniel Harding. The concert will also feature Widmann, who is their Artist in Residence, performing his Fantasie for solo clarinet.

Paris is the city of love: one can easily conjure images of lovers walking hand in hand along the Seine, the silhouette of the Eiffel Tower behind them. Accordion music wafts through the midsummer air and you can almost taste the red wine. Widmann was inspired by two Edith Piaf chansons about being in love, La vie enrose and La ciel de Paris. In La vie en rose, a woman sings about her immortal love to a man, while La ciel de Paris is a declaration of love to the city.

Jörg Widmann Au cœur de Paris: a musical expression of love

Piaf’s melodies linger in the mind long after the song has finished playing. Widmann teases the audience by quoting these melodies, orchestrating them to pair the deep emotion with a musical lightness.

There are always sounds at the beginning. These sounds gradually solidify over weeks, they compress. During this time I do not write. Then suddenlyI cannot stand it so I write, I write furiously until the piece is finished. Jörg Widmann

The concert will be repeated on 2 November at the Philharmonie in Paris and broadcast live. It will be available for viewing on Arte Concert for six months.