Friday, November 14, 2014


Canterbury Cathedral

Are you old enough to remember the Jackie Gleason show? Remember how he’d exit the stage and cue: “Maestro, a little travelin’ music”? Well, travelin’ music is what this blog is all about.   

Corey's Picture from Notre Dame

On January 21st this year, the wonderful Corey Amaro whose daily blog, Tongue in Cheek, is a must-read for me, wrote about their visit to Notre Dame in Paris. The orchestra of Radio France was there practicing Berlioz’s Requiem and the practice was being filmed. Her serendipitous happening upon a concert, especially one in a church, is one we’ve also experienced in our travels. I thought I’d write a bit about it – for old times’ sake.

The Arctic Cathedral

We heard our first church concert in 1981 at the Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø, Norway. To walk in to this very modern cathedral and hear very old organ music was quite surprising and delightful. After the next unexpected concert, this one in the crypt under Canterbury Cathedral, we began to expect music wherever we went. It began to seem logical: we came various churches, large and small, at a quiet time during the week when the organist, or in once case a pianist, was practicing for the next Sunday’s service. Strangely enough, we never heard choral practice. I really would have liked that.

Grieg in Bergen

Though most of our concerts have been in churches, 1982 was the year we came upon the Norwegian Army Band playing Grieg in an open air court at the SAS Hotel in Bergen. I am a sentimental fool sometimes, and hearing such lovely music, they began just as we rounded the corner, well, it gave me a lump in my throat and a tear or two. It wouldn’t have been the same if they’d been playing say Debussy, now would it?  The Debussy happened when we listened to a violinist in the streets of Carcassonne. 

Troubador - Cagnes-sur-Mer, France

 Through Norway, England, France, Italy, we’ve been serenaded and delighted. 

 So many free concerts – what could be better.

No comments:

Post a Comment