With about 500 concerts, including some 150 symphonic evenings, it would be impossible to describe the whole season of the Philharmonie of Paris in detail. After an elaborated opening, the Parisian institution does not seem to continue at a more leisurely rhythm as the program remains full of highlights!
As usual, the season is organized around a few weekends of themes, like the superb Trilogy of Monteverdi operas under the leadership of John Eliot Gardiner. Haendel is also honored with another magnificent orchestra, Les Arts Florissants. William Christie directs Ariodante with Kate Lindsey, Chen Reiss and Christophe Dumaux. The residencial formations offer many highlights. Daniel Harding begins his second season at the head of the Orchestre de Paris and has invited great artists such as Maria João Pires, Isabelle Faust and the unmistakable Ambrogio Maestri in his biggest role, Verdi’s Falstaff.
For its fiftieth anniversary, the Orchestre de Paris also invited the renowned former directors as Paavo Järvi or Christoph Eschenbach as well as an impressive additional list: Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph von Dohnányi, Franz Welser-Möst, David Zinman, Alan Gilbert, Gianandrea Noseda or Jonathan Nott without forgetting the excellent associate conductor Thomas Hengelbrock. A true explosion of stars with many prestigious soloists (András Schiff, Gautier Capuçon, Jean-Guihen Queyras …).
The orchestras and the great conductors are abundant at the Philharmonie de Paris. Valery Gergiev accompanies the sublime Anja Harteros in the Wesendonck Lieder of Wagner and begins a tetralogy in concert version with Das Rheingold and Die Walküre. Daniel Barenboim continues his exciting Bruckner cycle with the Staatskapelle of Berlin, joined by some other conducting legends. Zubin Mehta conducts Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra while Riccardo Muti brings the youth of the Orchestra Giovanile Cherubini. Riccardo Chailly is in Paris with the forces of the Teatro alla Scala for a Requiem of Verdi which is already being announced as an extraordinary event.
But probably Simon Rattle remains the most emblematic of this rich season 2017-2018. No less than four concerts are performed with the most beautiful orchestral assemblies, the London Symphony Orchestra and Berliner Philharmoniker in a repertoire from Haydn to Shostakovich via an exceptional Stravinsky evening (Rite of Spring, Petrushka and Firebird) and another concert with Krystian Zimerman.
The legendary pianist joins an already impressive list of soloists. Cecilia Bartoli and Sol Gabetta form a charming duo that promises another great event of the international season, Jonas Kaufmann and Diana Damrau will sing Wolf lieder. Other events include Nina Stemme, Matthias Goerne and Waltraud Meier on the same poster in Strauss’s Elektra, Sabine Devieilhe’s recital with François-Xavier Roth and Bach with Raphaël Pichon, a concert version of Leonore of Beethoven conducted by René Jacobs (with Marlis Petersen), Händel’s Messiah by Jordi Savall, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio by Marc Minkowski and Martha Argerich, Radu Lupu, Hélène Grimaud, Khatia Buniatishvili, Yuja Wang or Yannick Nézet-Séguin … In one word, impressive!ri