Skip to main content

RIFA I PASSI: CONCERT IN THE ABBAYE DE QUARANTE



This Friday night, 19 September, 2014, as a part of cultural programming that takes place throughout the year in several small towns like our Quarante that cooperate regionally, the tourist office presented a free concert in the Abbaye de Quarante performed by the seven female singers comprising the group Rifa i passi. The above Youtube video was not taken Friday night but both the setting and the sound quality approximate our local abbey, built 1,100 years or so ago, just a few steps from our front door. Pictures of the abbey available on the web appear below.

This was plainsong singing at its best in the proper setting and the ladies received two well-deserved standing ovations, one at the end of their main set and one after their encore, during which they brought out their first instrument, an accordion used just for chords, then sang a final chant as they moved down the main aisle of the abbey from the altar to the exit. The pews were full and folks stood along the walls and in the back. It was a magical evening. 



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

CHÉ OLIVE / LE ZINC, CREISSAN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

No, it's not Chez Olive. It is indeed Ché complete with red star and black beret. I have no idea why and I wasn't about to ask. The French are the French and not to be analyzed too closely when it comes to politics, especially these days.

Creissan is the next town over from our village of Quarante. We pass through it often and Ché Olive is right there on the main road at the entrance to town. (One of the signs still says Le Zinc. Olive says he prefers Ché Olive though.) Olive opened it a couple of years ago after leaving the Bar 40, Quarante's basic local watering hole that's undergone a bit of a renaissance lately. We hadn't heard much about Ché Olive from our usual sources for dining recommendations. So we just kept passing by. For reasons not central to this review, we decided to stop in for lunch on a mid-week in late December.

The bar is cozy, the restaurant open and bright and modern. Newly renovated and perhaps a bit sterile. We were the first…

LISA SIMONE: CONCERT REVIEW

Music in the vines...

Billed as a private party, we joined about 200 lucky souls who spent a most pleasant summer evening on the grounds of Mas de Daumas Gassac, one of France's most unique wineries. We nibbled a variety of hors d'oeuvres, drank as much wine as we thought prudent, enjoyed bits of salmon and herb-encrusted tuna from the plancha, dressed rounds of bread with freshly sliced ham and aioli, gathered around cheese boards that were at least two meters long, and if that wasn't enough, spent an hour and a half or so listening to Lisa Simone both being herself and channeling her mother Nina.

First, a word about Mas de Daumas Gassac. You can read the history HERE. It's the story of a family that just wanted to produce the best wine possible without regard to the rules of French classification. Matching great vines from other areas of France to their impeccable terroir, they proved that the Languedoc was capable of producing wine that challenges the greatest vint…

CHRISTMAS WALK TO VIEW OF THE PYRENEES: 2018

Cathey said that it was OK for me to take my usual Tuesday morning walk on Christmas Day. I could help set the table and perform other minor tasks necessary for a satisfactory Christmas dinner with friends after I returned. So off I went. Temperature 40℉ at the start near sunup. 50℉ at the finish a couple of hours later. No wind. Blue skies. This was the winter that I came to France for.

The walk can't really be called scenic. Just through the vines until you get to the headland opposite the village. But the closer that you get to the top, you begin to see the Pyrenees peeking through. And at the top, it's a 360° panorama.