Thursday, September 06, 2012

Gloria In Excelcis and Provence

There is a Brit lady called Pippa Pavlik and she organizes a festival of concerts called Musique Cordiale in the NW of Var; itself a part of Provence: There is an excellent chorus of about thirty-five Brits and a small orchestra with players from our Royal College of Music in London, the BBC Philharmonic; the Hallé and the Zürich Tonhalle, musician come for the fun of it, paying their own fares but getting free accommodation.

Concerts are given in the churches of hamaux and little towns to towns mostly in the forest near Seillans; Monds, Bargemon, Callian, Correns and in Pippas' own delightful small town of Seillans. The atmosphere is congenial; the music first class, composers ranging from Bach, Tallis and Mozart through to Saint-Saëns, Poulenc and Britten.
This year we had in Andrew Staples the finest young tenor of our time, a phenomenal 20-year old Swiss cellist, Chiara Enderle who played Saint-Saëns Concerto and Kate Howden, a key_of_the_door_year from Sydney whose voice is creeping up the staves from mezzo to full-blown soprano; she has a gorgeous voice and fine musicianship, sounding suitably glorious in Poulenc's Gloria, a stirring performance under the expert direction of conductor Tom Seligman.

In Correns Andre Staples led a small group of male voices, good ones, exquisitely balanced, in Bach' rarely heard little Mass in G minor Mass, the Lamentations of Thomas Tallis together with Poulenc's spicy Saint Asissi Prayers and a barber-shop lollipop finale.
All this was delectable music and music-making, all in delightful churches, in woody situations with get-together suppers for the performers afterwards. 

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