The church of Saint-Roch on rue Saint-Honoré is one of the oldest and largest churches in Paris. It is also an attractive venue for chamber music concerts.
For several years in the early 21st century the church hosted noontime concerts every Tuesday (except in mid-summer) under the title Les mardi musicaux de Saint-Roch (= The musical Tuesdays of Saint-Roch). Admission to these noontime concerts was free, but they gladly accepted donations.
In 2006 I attended a concert at Saint-Roch called “Mozart and his friends”, featuring works by C.P.E. Bach, J.B. Wendling, F. Devienne and of course Mozart. The two musicians were Sylvie Berthod playing the baroque flute and Claire Pradel on the épinette.
An épinette is a small and not very loud eighteenth century keyboard instrument, a distant ancestor of the piano.
As of 2019, the Church of Saint-Roch still hosts chamber music concerts, but they are no longer at noontime and no longer on Tuesdays. And for the most part they are no longer free.
Like many public buildings in Paris, Saint-Roch has some nice steps where people often sit to chat or eat their lunch. The group of children in the foreground spent over an hour on the steps, happily singing and stretching and obediently doing whatever their teacher told them to do.
Saint Roch, by the way, is the patron saint of dogs. He lived from around 1295 to 1327 in France, Spain, and Italy. He is also the patron saint of bachelors, surgeons, disabled people, and people who have been falsely accused of crimes.
The bubonic plague was widespread during his lifetime. While caring for people who had caught the disease, he became ill himself but was miraculously healed by a dog who licked his wounds and brought him food until he recovered.
Location, aerial view and photos of Église Saint-Roch on monumentum.fr.
My photos in this post are from 2006. I revised the text in 2019.
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5 thoughts on “Concerts in the Church of Saint-Roch”
The Church keeps the body of Amiral Grasse he who on orders of the king of France block the port of yorktown to give victory and secure the independence of the USA . The Franco-American community does a Mass around 4 july each year there which I have attended. also Le Nôtre is there…Nice Church too/cheers
They do have occasional free organ recitals there. Presumably anyone can contact them and arrange to give a recital there. Oddly, we once stayed right around the corner and didn’t even know the church was there so have never seen it. So near and yet so far . . .
These lunch time concerts are great .. it is rare we have them here unfortunately.
I wasn’t aware that an instrument like epinette existed. Even though it’s a classic, the information is new for me.
I didn’t know it either, until I went to this concert.