After I lived in Paris for a few months I started to learn the secrets of the city from the locals. Perhaps they waited to see if I was ‘worthy’ of being told the secrets or perhaps they had tried to tell me when I first got there but my French was so bad I didn’t understand what they were saying- either way I was grateful.
It was at one of Madame Bohemienne’s wild dinner parties where a few artsy types were the guests of honor, that I learned about the Louvre at Midnight.
“You haven’t heard about the Louvre at midnight?” they asked me astonished, as I had already been in Paris for a few months.
“Non!” I replied, leaning in over my coq au vin, “do tell!”
Well every so often (usually once a week- but one could never tell- and never really on the same day) a group of musicians played a free concert in the courtyard of the Louvre at midnight. It was spectacular- so special, so romantic! We had to go.
And go we did. I’m not sure how we found out what night they were playing as this wasn’t an advertised thing, but my friends and I, one crisp evening in early Spring, wandered into one of the courtyards of the Louvre and found a string quartet. Only a handful of people were scattered around the courtyard listening to the beautiful music. There were no chairs- people either sat on the edge of the fountain or on a blanket or scarf laid down on the floor.
The quartet played rapturously for about an hour- Mozart, Chopin, Brahms. I remember sitting there feeling so in the moment- so grateful that I was sitting under the stars in this beautiful city, by this beautiful building that held some of the world’s most important pieces of art in its walls, surrounded by friends and listening to this ‘secret concert’- and feeling that life was truly good, indeed…
I’m not sure if the secret concerts at the Louvre are still held at midnight, but if they are and you find yourself in Paris… allez, I tell you- allez…