There is much debate in Caunes this week about last week’s Vendredi Classique concert.
A group called “ Milonga, L’Espirit du tango” had featured in the Carcassonne festival, but had been rained off after about half an hour. It was a smaller version of the group that entertained us in Caunes last Friday. A potential storm meant that the usual beautiful abbey venue was abandoned and the group performed in the community hall.
Argentinian tango, from the early 20th century and more modern pieces were played by a really talented trio, on piano, bass and accordion, accompanied by a stunning mezzo soprano ( Daniele Scotte), and featuring a couple of tango dancers.
|Michael Juraver on bass, and the magnificent mezzo soprano Daniele Scotte|
The music was wonderful, and Daniele Scotte’s powerful, soulful voice added real depth to the whole performance. It is, however, the dancers that have caused the debate in town !
They were not glamorous, they were not young, they were not beautiful people. He was balding, not tall and elegant and she was ever so slightly overweight. For me, they were perfect for what I thought was supposed to be a gritty kind of pre rap street dance. Some people have said they were not sensual enough, or not passionate enough. I think they were excellent……but normal.
To me, they were perfect imperfect performers representing normal people dancing in a bar, telling stories of relationships through tango…a bit macho, sometimes violent, involving love, sex, and sometimes indifference. I don’t know whether they were great dancers or not, but for me, they helped me understand the complexities of showing relationships through this kind of dance.
Now for something completely different....
|In the streets of Leran|
Our weekend continued with a musical theme, when we visited a small village in the Ariege region. There was a very small scale festival taking place, including a procession of things with wheels !
|Things with wheels, parading through the streets of Leran|
We met up with Alan, an old work colleague from Kirklees, in the village of Leran. He had been the Music Inspector in Kirklees, when we worked there, and now lives in Leran. Since living there, he and his partner, Eileen, with whom we also worked, have formed a village choir. One of his Yorkshire based choirs was visiting the village, and we watched a delightful concert in the village church with both choirs performing. Old friends were in the Yorkshire choir, and it was a really lovely occasion, seeing the way Alan had enabled these 2 groups of people to enjoy music together.
|Alan Simmons, conducting two choirs who met up in Leran in the Ariege|
To say we ended the last few days with yet another concert is true….but it was certainly a somewhat different experience.
Status Quo performed in Carcassonne last night…..and we attended. The concert venue is amazing….within the walls of the old city, and quite intimate really. Quo were incredible…still going strong after all these years, still banging out an amazing amount of decibels ( my ears are still ringing), and still providing a very professional job of giving the crowd what they want.
|The amphi theatre within the walls of the city in Carcassonne|
It was great fun. The audience loved them, and we all sang, clapped, swayed…and some of the audience joined in some serious headbanging.
|The stage looked more and more impressive as it got darker|
|Old headbangers enjoying themselves.|
So…. A few days of vastly different musical experiences……all good.