I have a thing about woodwind instruments. If I believed in reincarnation I think I would want to come back as a flute. But only as a particular flute played by one particular person.
The concert I went to at the House of Radio France was all about woodwind instruments in the works Francis Poulenc (1899-1963). It was a family concert at 11 o'clock on a Saturday morning, with lots of children but also numerous adults in the audience.
Since I knew very little about Poulenc this was quite educational for me as I'm sure it was for the children, and it also cleared up any doubts I might have had about what the instruments are called in French. The oboe is an hautbois, which is no doubt the source of the English and German word oboe, and a horn is a cor, otherwise no surprises. The musicians were members of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France, and the concert was taped for broadcast on France Musique the following week.
Second photo: This concert hall and broadcast studio is named after another French composer, Olivier Messiean (1908-1992).
Third photo: Part of the audience and one of the technicians.
Fourth photo: The musicians and the moderator, Jean-Francoise Zygel, taking their bows at the end of the concert.
Fifth photo: The House of Radio France as seen from a tethered balloon at a height of 150 meters.
By coincidence I recently attended a similar concert in Frankfurt am Main. At the hr studios I ran into Holger Falk, who asked me if I was on my way to the Large Broadcast Hall. I said no, and asked what was going on there. "I'm singing there," he said, and he smuggled me in. It turned out to be an hr-Domino children's concert with singers personifying different instruments. Holger was a proud Spanish torero representing the trumpet. Both of these concerts, in Frankfurt and in Paris, were highly entertaining and musically first-rate.
The Maison de Radio-France is a big cylinder in glass with a circumference of 500 metres, built by Henri Bernard in 1963. A museum tells the story of radio and TV transmissions. My parents and I didn't visit it, we only saw the building after visiting the Serres d'Auteuil, about which you can read some tips in the Off the Beaten Path section.
This large building was constructed between 1952 and 1963 to give a home to the French television and radio industries. With its glass and aluminium architecture, it represents one of the most important modern edifices of post-war Paris. Today, there are more than 60 studios, along with thousands of offices. A museum here traces the history of telecommunications