Composed to mark the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution in 1789, De L’hôtel de la ville à la Concorde
(From City Hall to the Concorde) forms part of La Traversée de Paris
(The Crossing of Paris), an album consisting of seventeen pieces. Each refers to a specific or generic location, historical incident, or cultural development in Paris since the time of the Revolution, charting the city’s rich and often violent history from 1789 to 1989. The work was composed for an audio-visual exhibition of the same name that took place at the Grande Arche de la Défense from July to December 1989 to celebrate the bicentennial of the French Revolution. De L’hôtel de la ville à la Concorde
is the thirteenth section and refers to the Place de la Concorde, the largest square in Paris situated between the Tuileries and the Champs-Elysées. In 1792, during the French revolution, it was called Place de la Révolution and a guillotine was set up. In the two years that followed 1119 people were beheaded there.
from notes by Peter Reynolds © 2010