Sunday, June 27, 2010

June 25/10: Outdoor Entertainment

Outdoor Entertainment, originally uploaded by susanvg.

The festival in its many aspects continues. I attended a discussion on Baroque music, improvisation & the law with Desmond Menderson of the MaPs project and Elin Söderström who spoke about improvisation. Food for intellectual and music thought.

As part of the festival, there are free outdoor mini-concerts in Place Jacques Cartier. We caught a bit of one as we took time to get a bit of exercice in anticipation of sitting through concerts. And what wonderful, incredible concerts!


Cantatas: Miracles and Misfortunes
Monika Mauch, Franziska Gottwald, Charles Daniels, Harry van der Kamp, Bande Montréal Baroque, direction: Eric Milnes.J. S. Bach’s Celestial Cantatas for Epiphany (BWV 72, 155 et 156 et 81)

I had heard Monika Mauch, Charles Daniels and Harry van der Kamp before - their voices never disappoint - they continue to amaze me with their purity, their fluidity and colour. Franziska Gottwald was a new and delightful discovery. I love to hear these cantatas with just four voices - no large choir or large orchestra to muddy the sound, just the pureness of one to a part. And with such exceptional singers the sound was full but you could follow each line.

Next was a concert in the crypt of the church: Fermate il Passo with Viva BiancaLuna, an incredible performer from Italie. She sang frottola from the late middle ages. This was a magical experience as she sang and accompanied herself on a vielle-like instrument. Her voice, filled with emotion, sang of love, of loss, of lamentation. Her playing was astonishing - she got such a variety of sounds from her instrument as she bowed, strummed and even tapped on it. It was a privilege to hear her.


  1. Sounds like an amazing experience. Quebec is definitely a great place to be in the summer if you like music and festivals.

  2. I love when you describe a concert or an instrument, Susan. Your true passion and love of the music shines through. I am trying to imagine what it was like to hear this music in the "crypt" - did the place add to the sound?