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31.1.05

Crazy Days of Beethoven

As previewed by Marie-Aude Roux in her article (Une Folle Journée entre amis pour Beethoven à Nantes, January 23) for Le Monde, the Folles Journées 2005 in Nantes this year is dedicated to an insane four days of nothing but Beethoven, around the clock (270 concerts over five days). How do they make this work? They bring as many top-notch musicians as they can get (take a look at the program, which is a .PDF file), and they charge rock-bottom ticket prices. According to this article (Le Beethoven tour, January 28) by Edouard Launet for Libération, the 2006 event will be devoted to Renaissance and Baroque music from England, with National Schools after 1850 for 2007, and Music of the 20th Century for 2008. According to this article (La "Folle Journée", un moteur culturel et économique pour Nantes, January 28) from Agence France-Presse, the budget of 1.9 million € ($2.48 million) comes mostly from city and national arts funding (have I mentioned lately that the United States needs a Department of Culture?) and some private partners.

This year Nantes's "crazy days" of Beethoven will go on the road, at least in part, to Bilbao, Spain (March 4 to 6), Lisbon, Portugal (April 22 to 24), and Tokyo, Japan (April 29 to May 1). In other places around the world, a lost concerto fragment by Beethoven gets a first hearing (Debut for unknown Beethoven work, January 28, BBC News), Jessica Duchen comments on Kurt Masur's Beethoven symphony cycle with the London Philharmonic, and the Takács Quartet plays a popular Beethoven cycle in New York (Kathryn Shattuck, Still Immortal, Still Beloved, Still Heard Everywhere, New York Times, January 30).

UPDATE:
Anglophone Paris music blogger Never Been Home (thanks to Alex Ross for the link) has some other Beethoven events.

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