March 06, 2015

Emmanuel Pahud takes his French flute revolution to Versailles

Where better than Versailles to tour his new album 'Revolution' and show that the flute is mightier than the sword?

October 1789: the French revolution swept through Versailles as an incensed Paris mob stormed the château. Members of the Swiss guard that formed part of Marie Antoinette's entourage of personal bodyguards were killed in their attempts to protect the queen.

These events won't be too far from the minds of many music-lovers at the Palace of Versailles tonight (no 'storming' necessary for ticket-holders), as Swiss virtuoso and Principal Flute of the Berlin Philharmonic Emmanuel Pahud plays concertos from the time of the French Revolution, live at the very epicentre of these historic events. 

It's a magnificent setting in which to explore this golden age of flute music that coincided with such political upheaval and drama. With history echoing through the marbled corridors of the palace, the programme will include works by Gluck and Devienne from Pahud's new album Revolution, out this week. Both live at Versailles and on the album, this star soloist is accompanied by his Swiss collaborators the Kammerorchester Basel conducted by Giovanni Antonini.

"In planning this album, I saw the flute concerto as a way of taking listeners on a journey through a period of 30 or so years, centred around the notorious storming of the Bastille in 1789," says Pahud.

Emmanuel Pahud's new album Revolution is out now.