A Guy’s Guide to Culture: Liszt, Seriously?

I hate it when people say, “I’m no expert, but I know what I like.” Me, I know what I like and I don’t have to go around bragging about it. I also know what I don’t like, and it sounded a lot like this concert.


For both of my readers who enjoy classical music, this music is played impeccably by the very talented Véronique Bonnecaze. In other words, if you like this kind of thing, then you’ll love this. I’m not critiquing the pianist, I’m criticizing everything else.

21:50 The last piano woman started. [She was the 5th performer of a classical music event: Battle of the Blands.]

21:51 Oh my god. This kind of classical music is so far over my head that my nose is bleeding. It’s very bangy. And only the low notes. Whoever wrote this was having one of those years.

21:52 What else? Whoever wrote this didn’t have many friends as a kid. Whoever wrote this started The Bible too early. Whoever wrote this never saw the sun. Whoever wrote this should not have been home schooled. Whoever wrote this lived too close to an open sewer. Whoever wrote this tied his shoes far too tight. Whoever wrote this should’ve tried his hand at Public Executioner instead. Whoever wrote this probably invented getting something stuck up their butt. Whoever wrote this movement, it was with his bowels.


21:59 If this music gets any more serious, I’m gonna bust out laughing.

22:01 This music is making the man beside me sweat loudly.

22:03 I just checked the program. “Whoever wrote this” was Liszt and it’s called ‘The Funeral’. Score me one for getting classical music.

22:04 Still, what kind of woman chooses to play this on purpose? The good news is… probably not the kind of woman who would read this review.


22:15 Sweat break. She paused to wipe perspiration off her brow and hands, and to give me a dirty look. Maybe she can read minds as well as music, in which case she’ll no doubt play ‘Funeral for a Friend’ and dedicate it to me.

22:16 This song is a little less menacing. Must be she moved on to Schuman’s ‘Carnaval Op. 9’.

22:18 Maybe the music sounds so aggressive because she doesn’t like it either. Maybe she’s trying to kill it with her stomping fingers.

22:22 She’s like an evil classical music robot. The Wicked Witch of the Liszt.

22:36 My wife just confirmed Véronique sneered at me earlier. I better make like a composer and Schu—man.


Théâtre du Châtelet

A special thanks to my good friends at Integral Classic for the seat and the +1 at the concert. You guys rock… or whatever the classical music equivalent of that is.

Image credits:
Image 1 – Véronique Bonnecaze (Liszt and Schuman). Source – integralmusic.fr
All the other photos by Paul Prescott, check out his Paris By Cell Phone

About the Contributor

Paul Prescott

Creative writer, English teacher, and pizza chef, I have been living in Paris for over 30 years. Less of a cinephile than a cinevore, I see a movie in the theater every day, and so aspire to see 365 films every year. In addition to the French film reviews on My French Life, I publish mini-reviews of every film I see on Leterboxd, Instagram and Twitter.

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