Skip to main content

ENSEMBLE CAPPELLA MAGDALENA - CONCERT REVIEW

ENSEMBLE CAPPELLA MAGDALENA 

As the five women who performed as the Ensemble Cappella Magdalena in Quarante this past Monday night began singing in the back of the main chapel of the Abbaye de Quarante, processed down the center aisle, and completed their opening plain-song at the altar, I couldn't help but wonder how fully their voices filled the 1,000-year-old Abbaye, clear as bells, without amplification. Modern concert halls have spent fortunes and failed to duplicate the sound quality of those ancient churches that seem to have been built to showcase the human voice. And as I've been known to say repeatedly, the female voice in song is the most beautiful of musical instruments.

Please visit the website linked above and learn their story. Buy their music if it's to your liking. This is one fine troupe, five strong individual voices blended in sweet unity. In addition to plain-songs, they performed motets and other sacred forms with assurance and skill. And although they didn't interact with each other to any great extent, only the occasional nod or smile, they did seem to be enjoying the vocal interplay. We certainly did. This was heady, rare stuff performed with skill and respect for the music.

The only disappointment was the lack of a full house. Yes, the midsummer weather had been brutal. But the thick old stones of the Abbaye made for a relatively cool chapel. One-third full was not sufficient, almost an insult. The Ensemble Cappella Magdalena deserved a full house. If they come your way, don't miss them.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

BURGER KING, NARBONNE: RESTAURANT REVIEW (GOD FORGIVE ME)

After 48 years, The Southern Woman That I Married can still surprise me.

We went shopping the other day. You see, we're at the beginning of the French winter sales. Yes, stores here have sales all of the time, but I'm talking about THE SALES. Twice each year, once in winter and once in summer, every store holds sales. It's an official thing. There's a national start date (although it may vary a bit from region to region), a national end date, and stores are not permitted to bring in stock just for THE SALES. So these are true clearances. Discounts can be 70% or more. Serious savings.

Yes, I know. Controlled capitalism. How could it possibly work? Hint: It works because everybody buys into it, even the capitalists.


The day before we hit the shops, Cathey said,"Let's have lunch at Burger King." Be aware that Cathey has been trying to find a decent hamburger ever since we arrived in France. We've tried Buffalo Grill. We've ordered a burger at one o…

ASIA MARKET, BEZIERS: WORTH A VISIT

The Southern Woman That I Married is an accomplished, multi-cultural cook. Over the years, our table has been graced with examples of authentic fare from the world over. If there is one limitation to the diversity of the menus that Cathey can create here in the south of France, it's the availability of proper ingredients. Sometimes, it's the simple things. I've spent my entire life enjoying lox on a bagel smeared with cream cheese for breakfast on a Sunday morning. There's fine smoked salmon on display in just about every supermarket here, but even though the packaging of Philadelphia Cream Cheese looks the same as in the States, the formula is clearly different. It just doesn't taste the same. And a bagel? A real, honest-to-goodness, Brooklyn-style bagel? In the rural south of France? Fuhgeddaboudit.

For Cathey's cookery, more exotic fare than bagels and cream cheese is required. Almost immediately after our move here four years ago, she lamented the difficult…

FRENCH VISA AND HEALTH INSURANCE FOR AMERICANS

The most expensive item in an American family's budget may be health insurance. But many Americans have no understanding of the true cost of their insurance because it's included in their employment package. Folks simply don't think about how much their employer may be reducing their salaries when factoring in insurance costs.

Before I retired, my employer paid for my health insurance but I had to pay to insure my wife. The cost, taken out of my every paycheck, came to about $6,000 annually. And even with insurance, there were co-pays and other out of pocket expenses. We were reasonably healthy (and still are, knock wood), but we each take a few common prescription medications - for blood pressure and cholesterol and the like, nothing exotic or costly. Even so, with regular visits to the doctor, periodic lab work, the drugs, and the occasional illness or injury, we normally spent an additional several thousand dollars annually in the States over and above the cost of the i…