Saturday, 18 August 2018

Musical balance

Duo Atlas - Chazelle Eglise Notre-Dame
Even though the beautiful weather still continues, the summer season, where it concerns festivals and concerts, is drawing to an end. Hence time to draw up the balance sheet!
We'll start off close to home: Guitares en Cormatinois in Chazelle's church. Unfortunately the three first concerts were given during the period of the World Cup Football, which drew even more attention of the population because France reached the Finals and won.

Paris Gadjo Club - Chazelle Eglise Notre-Dame
The number of visitors of the concerts reflected that; Irish Kind Of, Markus Held & Cie. and the Hair Brothers performed for a half empty church. Fortunately, the remaining two concerts filled the church almost to capacity. The Spanish/Dutch Duo Atlas played an excellent classical concert, and the Paris Gadjo Club played for a full house a mixture of Manouche jazz and Brazilian Choro, with the emphasis on Choro.

Roundelay - Chapaize Eglise Saint-Martin
From Chapaize Culture we had chosen what we thought were the best concerts: the Dutch madrigal choir Roundelay gave (as usual) an excellent performance, and the Irish Folk concert with the trio Rachel Goodwin, Hervé Dréan and Gilles Poutoux radiated an enormous amount of pleasure, which was not lost on the spectators.

Quatuor Modigliani - Cluny Eglise Saint-Marcel
For Les Grandes Heures de Cluny and the free Festival Off Les Petites Minutes de Cluny we had this year made a conscious choice. Last year we saw all concerts (7 + 7), which soon resulted in concert fatigue. Like last year, this year had for two weeks 3 consecutive concerts per week, and a separate concert a week later. We had chosen one concert per week, 3 concerts in total. And because we were looking at a Festival and a Festival Off, we nevertheless saw 6 concerts.

Trio Goldberg - Cluny Farinier des Moines
Highlights of this year was a series of string quartets by the Quatuor Modigliani and the free concert by Trio Goldberg with a.o. Bach's Goldberg Variations arranged for violin, viola and cello. Note however, that this does not mean that the other concerts were of inferior quality!

Saturday, 4 August 2018


La Boulaye
The summer is an ideal time for tourist outings, and how can one better break a long ride in order to stop somewhere for a picnic. We often do that, just the two of us, but we do it also when we have family or friends over. The day starts with a fixed ritual: the car is loaded with camping tables and chairs, e tablecloth, sometimes a picnic blanket, the cool box is filled with drinks, sandwich fillings and salads, and then we are on the move to our first stop. However, stopping at the baker for a fresh baguette is also a must.

Throughout the years we have built up a nice collection of picnic spots. When we travel direction La Boulaye to visit the Temple of 1000 Buddhas, we often eat in the shadow of the church of Perrecy-les-Forges, which on its own is certainly also worth a visit.
On our way to the Brionnais for the cattle market in St-Christophe or for some beautiful Romanesque churches we often stop at the Butte de Suin or by the war memorial in Beauberry. Both locations are high up and offer beautiful views.

However, we are also quite happy to skip our favourites and trade them in for a spot along a canal, by a lake or a river, or somewhere in the middle of the vineyards. They may not offer wide views, but one can enjoy peace and quiet there.
Besides, the word "Picnic" has an added value as well: when my better half is not so keen to visit another church again, the "P"-word makes her eyes light up, and it certainly softens the blow of visiting churches.