The Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa & La Folle Journee

Kanazawa Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 6 › view all entries
This time I would like to tell you about the orchestra in Kanazawa and its music.
The Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa was established in 1988. This orchestra consists of about 40 members and is not big as regular orchestras. It is very unique and seems to be always pursuing what it should be, because of this size. So it is sometimes conservative and the other times quite progressive. The repertoire is wide, from baroque music to contemporary music. They perform not only in Kanazawa, but all over Japan.

My first time for this orchestra was a concert at Suntory Hall in Tokyo. I'm not sure but it might have been around 1989. Back then I was a university student in Tokyo, and a member of the students' orchestra club. I went to the concert with my friend who also played the violin. At that concert they performed some contemporary music by Japanese composers using percussion effectively. The sound of the strings was quite pure. It was rare for me to listen to modern music directly. And the women wore dresses of Kaga-yuzen which is traditional dyeing in Ishikawa. It was a very new experience for me.

At that time we were practicing some pieces such as Requiem by Mozart. We were going to have a a concert of the students' orchestra. I was involved in it and only feeling this piece was very beautiful without thinking of the meaning of it.

Two years ago I lost my precious person suddenly. Although it was a very painful occurrence, music often consoled me. I listened to Ken Hirai, EXILE, Backstreet Boys, ABBA, and so on. The power of music is great.

I hope I can go to classical music concerts of the orchestra. But I abstain from it now because my children are not mature enough. They always go to sleep or start complaining in the midst of the concert. Maybe in several years I'll be able to enjoy them freely with my children or friends. I hope so. Now I sometimes try taking my children to small concerts for kids.

There are many types of concerts held in Ishikawa Music Hall near Kanazawa station. The hall was built for Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa and Japanese traditional music players. We have had a music festival called "La Folle Journee" during Golden Week since 2008. (There are some holidays from the end of April to May in Japan) During the week lots of concerts are held in the Music Hall or around the station. Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, some players invited from abroad and many musical groups of citizens perform. Each concert is shorter than usual to entertain many people more frequently. The first festival was featured on Beethoven, and the second was Mozart. In 2010 the composer taking up in the festival will be Chopin. So, if you like Chopin or classical music, how about coming here to enjoy the festival in spring? You must have a special time in a city of Gold on Golden Week!

Next time I'll explain about the origin of the city's name, Kanazawa. It is related to gold dust.
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photo by: masayo