Archive for Versailles

Orfeo ed Euridice

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , on July 22, 2018 by xi'an

Last weekend, I went to Versailles [despite the local trains best effort to keep me from it] to listen to a choir version of Orpheo ed Eurydice, Gluck’s opera. A magnificent baroque opera, possibly in par with Monteverdi’s. Unfortunately, this version was given in French and with a piano, which simply cancelled all baroque aspects of the piece (and in addition exhibited too clearly the paucity of the text!). Although I found this version rendered beautifully by Maria Callas:

art brut

Posted in pictures with tags , , on December 11, 2013 by xi'an


Leçons de Ténèbres

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on November 24, 2013 by xi'an

DSC_5566sLast night, we went to Versailles for a concert given in the Royal Chapel on Couperin’s 1714 Leçons de Ténèbres (lessons in darkness). Although classified as baroque music, the leçons de ténèbres are more linked with the polyphonies of the Middle Ages and of Renaissance. The main theme, delivered by two and then three singers, was beautiful, especially in the splendid chapel of Versailles palace. Where maybe it was first delivered to Louis XIV, since those leçons were created to bypass the prohibition of royal operas during Lent. While I could not make sense of the sequence of songs making Couperin’s leçon pour le mercredi Saint, I found them mesmerizing, with the rhythm behind eventually revealed in the final songs. In tradition with the tenebrae service, 15 candles were lit at the start of the concert and gradually extinguished, one by one, the final notes being delivered in complete darkness. Perfect darkness.


tenured research position with ABC skills!

Posted in R, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , on February 2, 2012 by xi'an

I just received this announcement for the opening of a (tenured/civil servant) position in the national research institute in biostatistics, genetics, and agronomy, INRA:

Position opening with profile Approximate inference techniques in complex systems

Key activities and required skills: You will develop methodological research in the field of statistical inference for models used in environmental sciences. These inference techniques will account for the complex dependency structure due to the temporal, spatial and evolutionary organisation of the observations, for the heterogeneity of the data and for the existence of unobserved variables or incomplete data. Solid experience in statistical modelling of complex data (graphic models, multi-scale spatio-temporal data) and a strong orientation towards the applications in environment and biology would be appreciated. Skills in approximation techniques (variational inference, ABC techniques) will be welcome.

Contact person: Stéphane Robin (robin [chez] agroparistech [lepoint] fr)

Location:  Versailles-Grignon (Paris)

Deadline: February 25, 2012

Website: INRA offer

This should appeal to (some) readers of the blog, esp. since the offer has no nationality constraint.

Versailles by night

Posted in Travel with tags , , on July 31, 2009 by xi'an

A few weeks ago, we went with a very good friend to the light and watermusic evening show in the Versailles palace (which takes place most of the summer). Here are a few pictures taken by my daughter. versailles.1Although there is a “tourist-trap” feeling in the show (and the place is literarly crawling with people and nationalities!), the overall harmony and order of the Le Notre gardens eventually overcome this unpleasant aspect. As the night comes in, especially on a clean windless evening, the crowd somewhat vanishes and all that remains are the fountains, the gardens, and the castle in the background. versailles.4

Even the fireworks that close the evening are enjoyable (and I usually hate fireworks for their noise and vacuity!) because they were already part of the parties at the time Versailles was inhabited…