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

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…

LE TAJ MAHAL, BEZIERS: RESTAURANT QUICK TAKE

Full Disclosure: I first heard the term 'The Raj' several years ago. The term did not appear in American history books. I never lived in any metro area with a significant Asian-Indian population. And I would guess that I was about 35 years old before I ate in an Indian restaurant.

So what the hell do I know? (If you prefer video to the written word, you can watch my review of Le Taj Mahal on my YouTube channel HERE.)

My sister-in-law now lives in the same village in the south of France that we do. For some reason not fully defined, she searched online for the best Indian restaurants in France. Le Taj Mahal in Beziers appeared on the list. We went because that's what we do, go to restaurants that look that they might serve good food. We're glad that we did.

First of all, the folks in the restaurant were very accommodating. We arrived at noon only to discover that they wouldn't be opening until 12:30. In recognition of the heat of the day, we were invited in, the a…