Wednesday, September 21, 2011

La Musique

France was alive with music. In many-centuries-old churches, basilicas, and cathedrals we visited, often music played. If we happened to visit during a mass, we might hear organ and choral music, but even in just normal “open” times, a backdrop of soft music sometimes accompanied tourists’ heels clicking on stone floors and whispers of “Look at that painting.”

Street musicians played guitars, violins, and accordions in open squares, near sidewalk cafes, in Métro subway stations, and even in Métro train cars. Here’s a short video of musicians playing less traditional instruments near the Saturday Pézenas market.

In Colombiers, a band played traditional French songs from atop a barge on the Canal du Midi. You can’t really tell in this short clip, but most onlookers sang along to the songs, much as people here know all the lyrics to most Beatles tunes.

In Paris’ Sainte Chapelle, (which dates to the 1200s under Louis IX), we heard Vivaldi’s Les Quatres Saisons and Pachelbel’s Canon played by Classik Ensemble … a sublime concert, considering the pieces and setting.

Shakespeare and Company bookstore on Paris’ Left Bank is patterned after the shop where literary luminaries such as Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, and James Joyce gathered in the 1920s. I wonder if the nickname “the lost generation” referred to how lost a person could get inside this quirky (an understatement) little shop (haha). One of its many charms is a piano that any customer can play. A surprise concert by the talented young customer in this clip delighted me.


Ferree Bowman Hardy said...

Thank you for the peek at the sights and sounds of France!

Ferree Bowman Hardy said...

Thank you for sharing your trip! I enjoyed the sights AND sounds! :)