After ravioli, Ravi par Ravel

On 9th August 2018, some 21 members, family and friends met for lunch in the Auberge des Bouviers in Lectoure for a lunch of quality in its splendid upstairs room. A couple of us courageously (or foolishly) tried the menu du jour’s very substantial andouillette but everyone else stayed in less challenging but much appreciated territory. As ever on these occasions, amidst good conversation, some new friendships and encounters were generated in the true spirit of our association.

Our objective then was to meet member Piers Killeen at his Chateau to see the then-resident Albion Quartet practice a piece from their next concert. The weather being (for this summer) atypically uncertain, we found them already at work in the Church next door. However, we were all quickly ejected by the onset of an imminent funeral and so repaired inside Piers’ fine house to hear them rehearse Ravel’s Quartet in F. We were much intrigued by the dynamics of the interplay between the players as well as the stunning immediacy and quality of their playing. Given that they had three concerts in three days ahead to rehearse, we were very privileged to get this unusual insight into the creation of fine music and to be able to ask questions about their approach to their work. Piers remarked that their concert the previous evening had been an exciting demonstration of the evolution of the quartet form from Haydn’s signature Op 20 no 2 to Beethoven’s final quartet, Op. 135 – followed by a well-timed thunderstorm.

Piers also provided tea and gave us an intriguing tour of his Edward I-period chateau (in which the concerts are held). He explained the historic and bureaucratic challenges that restoring such a monument present – historic because so little is known about its origins and the method of construction must mainly be deduced from what is there. 

We would very much encourage those of you with an interest in chamber music to join Piers’ membership and attend his concerts as a result: http://saintemerefestival.net/en/.

Our great thanks to the Albions and to Piers for making it all possible.

   

August 9th: top class music after lunch

By arrangement with member Piers Killeen and the Albion Quartet, members have been invited to enjoy a rehearsal by this top class quartet at Piers’ chateau at Sainte-Mère (32) on Thursday 9th August.

We plan to lunch in advance of this at the Auberge des Bouviers in Lectoure.  ‘Bouviers’ are cowboys according to the proprietor but this is certainly not a comment on the food!

Piers writes:

“I am afraid I cannot be sure what they will be rehearsing, but clearly it will be pieces from the subsequent concert programmes. The rehearsals are likely to include sections from the Beethoven and Schubert quartets featuring in the programme.  They are all lovely people and I’m sure they will also say a word or two to your group about their work.  They have fabulous instruments anyway – Stradivarius, Guarnerius and a Grancino.”

Albion b:w photo small

Details have been sent to members by email: please contact info@ousswfrance.com for further details.

 

Join us at Sainte-Mère

At our request, member Piers Killeen has kindly arranged for us to attend a rehearsal by the Albion Quartet during the festival at Sainte-Mère (32). This will take place on 9th August after a lunch to be arranged nearby. There will be a small charge for this event to help support the festival.

Details of the festival programme are on the Sainte-Mere website and you may like to attend a concert in addition.

It would be helpful at this early stage to get some idea of numbers for the lunch and rehearsal, so please let us know if you might attend via:

or

mailto:info@ousswfrance.com.

 

Our Musical AGM

Thanks to Brian and Liz Berks for their organisation, we were able once again to make the AGM an event worth attending.

At the Priory of Mesnil St. Martin at Montaut de Villeréal (47), members and guests were able to enjoy a fine catered lunch and then hear a Chopin concert by the owner of the Priory and concert pianist and teacher, Emmanuel Laloë-Ferrer.

The maestro

This was followed by the lighter touch of Stanley Hanks with songs about London and from his native Costa Rica.

Stanley Hanks

After the show was over...