On a beautiful October evening in Sablet … we’re all invited to a pre-dinner Symphony!
… it all starts with an “affiche” posted in the window of the Casino Epicerie in the village square. We noticed it as soon as we arrived back in Sablet from our week on the Canal Lateral de la Garonne in the Acquitaine. The affiche explained the beautiful music we heard drifting in the direction of Maison des Pelerins from our next door neighbor – the 12th Century Church of St. Nazaire. Since I love going to the Symphony, this was going to be such a treat – except this time I only had to walk next door! The group of amateur musicians had been invited to perform in Sablet by the Compagnons des Barrys – the very active historical and community organization, and Margret Storck, a professional photographer who lives in Sablet and is friends with many members of the symphony – this kind of activity is definitely one of the delights of spending time in a small village in Provence.
The small church that normally holds around eighty people was beginning to fill up well before the appointed starting time of 6pm.
By starting time all the seats were filled – lots of neighbors and friends, along with some visitors to the village … and people kept arriving … even an hour after the concert had started people kept arriving packing in to the standing room only aisles and entry.
As the musicians stood to receive the audience’s applause of welcome, the Presenter announced that “Tonight we will be taking a musical promenade across Europe”, which we certainly did. From the beginning with Handel’s lively and upbeat Sinfonia “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” from the Opera Solomon all the way to the end which was a presentation of “drei reumanische Volkstanze” (Rumanian Filkdance), by Bartok, we were treated to a wonderful variety that included Vivaldi, Mozart, Bach and Tschaikowsky.
There was no doubt that the audience appreciated the performance, but the most incredible thing that we learned was that these were all amateur musicians who do this as a hobby! At the end of the performance, we were all invited to join the musicians and organizers for an aperitif … and more music.
It was a spectacular beginning to the evening, followed by a walk down to Les Abeilles for a delicious and very enjoyable dinner with friends.
C’est la vie Provencale ….
Many thanks to L’Orchestre de Chambre de Hambourg/Eimsbuettel for their magnificent performance and to the Compagnons des Barrys in Sablet and Margret Storck for the presentation of muscians. Thank you also to Margret Storck for many of the lovely pictures of the performance.
If you are traveling in Provence, be sure to keep you eyes open for the “affiches” that are posted in shop windows – it is the best way to find activities that are “off the beaten path” in Provence.