Music, the new inspiration for museums

Listen to a concert surrounded by paintings of gentlemen? It is now commonplace in the largest Parisian museums, who wish to abolish the boundaries between the arts.

Should works of art be thought of in silence? Or, on the contrary, bathe in music, nourishing it with a richer imagination, giving it a stronger emotional intensity, and thus inclined towards this “total art” that Richard Wagner dreamed of? In this age-old debate, Parisian museums decided: Yes, music has its place in their galleries. So much so that most of them now have their own concert seasons.

If we exclude the official festivities of the Napoleonic era at the Museum of French Antiquities (now École des Beaux-Arts), where the orchestra played behind a curtain, we can consider that the adventure of the “Musée de la Musée” began in the capital in 1967, at the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris, with the creation of the ARC (Animation search, confrontation). It was an avant-garde multidisciplinary experimental laboratory, born under the direction of curator Pierre Godebert, says Dominique Boulot, museum historian and professor at Paris I. He invited musicians like John Cage there. » It was also the time that Iannis Zenakis was presented in the bathrooms of the Medieval Museum Polytop Clooney (1972-1974), The Sound and Light Show, the first work of contemporary music to be housed in a Museum of Ancient Art.

Recital by Sir Andras Schiff at the Louis Vuitton Foundation.

Benjamin Vialati /, Louis Vuitton Foundation / Benjamin Vialat

1986, a new turning point: when Orsay opened its doors, the public discovered an auditorium there – this was the first time a museum had acquired such equipment. Originally the projectAnd the He was to make the Orsay a “cultural museum”, not only of artistic creation, but also of the social and economic conditions surrounding this creativity, somewhat from a Marxist perspective. The idea was supported by Giscard, who was strangely fascinated by Soviet literary museums. It held out for a while after the arrival of the left, in 1981. The proponents of the Beaux-Arts then regained power, but the hall remained. » In this 347-seat room, on Thursday evenings and Tuesday lunchtimes, we feast on concerts featuring Greg, Debussy, and other composers from the institution’s reference period (1848-1914). While in the galleries, four times a year, during the “Musical Walking Tours”, the paintings of the Impressionist artists vibrate to the sound of a duet of piano sound selected jointly with the Royaumont Foundation, in the programs of Lying and Melodies. “We offer the visitor an enhanced view of the painting,” Sandra Bernard, Head of Programming, who previously worked at Mezzo and Orchester de Paris explains. The saucer hosts larger formats, often with audio. Without forgetting such festive events as “curieuses nocturnes”, the museum turns directly into dance place As we swing a cup in hand to make pop or DJ mix sounds. In concern to play aesthetic shocks, enterprise strategy now ‘Departing from the ‘nineteenth and nineteenth century’ approach as welle “,” programmer insists. but also Get the music out of the hall. To better occupy other spaces Thus it reaches audiences other than music lovers only.

Concert by the Orchester de Paris at the Musée Orsay.

Concert by the Orchester de Paris at the Musée Orsay.

Sophie Crepe

In this race for decibels and sixteen tones, the Louvre is not to be outdone. If the palace, from Henry II to Louis XIV, often resonates with the sounds of Italian court ballets and operas, then in the eighteenth century splendid and modern pages appeared in the Tuileries by the Soul Party (the four Seasons by Vivaldi, the Mother Stabat de Pergolèse…), a relative silence reigned when revolutionaries in 1793 turned it into a museum. The music took two hundred years to get back there with great fanfare, with a hall opening in 1989 as part of the “Great Louvre” project, itself an integral part of François Mitterrand’s “Great Works”. A 420-seat room located under Bay’s pyramid, which last year was named after Michel Laclote, filmmaker from 1987 to 1995, after his death. In thirty years, more than a thousand concerts have been held there, echoing permanent collections and temporary exhibitions. Sebastien Ducey, head of the correspondence group and insider of the memorial, describes the sensations he feels when performing at the Salle des Caryatids: “There is the spirit of the place that defines how we play. It gives us a more intense and inspiring experience. Through its moving and ephemeral aspect, music brings a natural complement to sculptures or paintings that, by definition, do not move.”

Expand to other audiences

But beyond the aesthetic aspect, the carving of musicians in museums also responds to a more political desire to turn to cultural democracy. The goal is to expand the audience, rejuvenate them, and make places more dynamic and attractive that are considered static and outdated. “We cannot imagine today’s museum without music, it is part of the necessary mediations”, Says Dominique Bulot, who notes Underestimating the importance of musical accompaniment. The historian cites the example of these museums in North America that Use music as in elevators. So that there subordinate “Private boxes” In marketing background music for use in museums. “It creates a friendly and ‘participatory’ atmosphere. The ‘experience’ is supposed to be better for the visitor, making them more receptive and encouraging them to stay longer. Music becomes an auxiliary element in the wonderful side of the museum.” Ultimately, is this in the process of becoming a place of entertainment like any other? A cultural center in the broad sense where the boundaries between the arts will be weakened? A return, in a way, to the concept of assets: that Mouse To Ptolemy, in Alexandria (290 BC), he is considered the ancestor of the Museums, where the nine Logos are intertwined together.


Program in the reign of Louis XIV, with the harmonic poem and mezzo-soprano Adèle Charvet. November 16, 8 p.m. Louvre Museum, 1Verse. From 15 to 35 euros.

The Norwegian National Ballet with Nils Peter Mollfer (trumpet). November 22 and 23, 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The Musée d’Orsay, 7e. €10-14 (combined ticket to visit the Munch Gallery).

Cello septet by Gautier Capuçon, from the “Class of Excellence” hosted by the Vuitton Foundation. November 26, 8:30 p.m. Louis-Vuitton Foundation, 8, av. By Mahatma Gandhi, 16e. 15-25 euros.

And also: Museum of Romantic Life, Museum of Modern Art in Paris, Orangerie …

“Curieuse nocturne” about Sam Szafran, concerts and shows with pop composer Uèle Lamore. November 9, 7:30 pm – 11 pm Orangery Museum, Room Water lilies. Tuileries Garden, 1Verse. Upon presentation of the entrance ticket (10-12.50 EUR).

French Youth Orchestra (Alder and Violin: Julien Chauvin), Mozart, Beethoven. November 9, 8 p.m. Louvre Museum, 1Verse . From 10 to 22 euros.

– “Romantic Parties at the Museum”, November 15, 18:30. Museum of Romantic Life, 16, Chapal Street, 9e. free entry.

“Music in the Louvre” is a program focusing on the beginning of the reign of Louis XIV. With Adèle Charvet (mezzo-soprano) and The Harmonic Poem (Monastery: Vincent Domestere). November 16, 8 p.m. The Louvre. From 15 to 35 euros.

“Music and Munch” with Marianne Pete Keeland (mezzo-soprano) and Nils Anders Mortensen (piano). November 17, 8 p.m. Musée d’Orsay, 7e, Lecture hall. 8-36 euros.

Concerts related to the exhibition “Things. A still life story”. With the Béla quartet and Wilhem Latchoumia in piano (November 18) and the Paris Percussion group (December 7). November 18 and December 7, 8 p.m. The Louvre. From 10 to 22 euros.

The Norwegian National Ballet, with Nils Peter Mollfer (trumpet and opus). November 22 and 23, 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Musée d’Orsay (nave). €10-14 (combined ticket to visit the Munch Gallery).

“Kokoschka and music”, Concert and Picnic with Miroirs EXTENDED and soprano Marie-Laure Garnier. November 24, 7 p.m. Paris Museum of Modern Art, 11, st. President Wilson, 16ᵉ. free entry.

Romantic Life Museum. A concert on the baroque and romantic instruments of Double Face. November 25, 6:30 p.m. 5-9 euros.

Concert “Capucelli”, the cello of the “class of excellence” by Gautier Capuçon. Creations and commissions from Fondation Vuitton (Dessner, Dubugnon, Connesson, Mantovani. November 26, 8:30 p.m. Fondation Louis-Vuitton, 8, av. du Mahatma-Gandhi, 16ᵉ. 15-25 euros.

Program “In the Service of His Majesty” during the reign of Charles II of England. Band Correspondence (dir: Sébastien Daucé). January 6, 8 p.m. Louvre. From 15 to 35 euros.

#Music #inspiration #museums

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