French Frolic Finished!

It’s the morning after our French Frolic concert and a perfect moment to reflect on what was a great evening of music (click me for the video of Cantique de Jean Racine).

This was a bit of a change in tempo for the Village Voices, as we were not performing all the songs, but instead invited along Elizabeth Frankland as a solo Soprano, giving us some time to enjoy listening to the concert along with the audience (and something our own sopranos to aspire to!). She was amazingly good!

Village Voices in all our finery

Village Voices in all our finery, look at all those smiles!
(Click for a larger version)

For me this concert was a collection of the music I love – highlights being Catherine and Elizabeth singing The Flower Duet from Delibes’ Lakme; the beautiful, ethereal In Paradisum from Gabriel Fauré’s requiem; and our illustrious choir master, flexing her fingers on her Cello, with the Swan from Le Carnaval des Animaux (The Carnival of the Animals) by Saint-Saëns.

Once again Grace (Flute) stunned us, with a solo rendition of the Poulenc Flute Sonata (2nd movement) ‘Cantilena’, and our resident pianist Becs delighted with a quirky piano solo of Debussy’s Général Lavine – eccentric; a musical depiction of a clown renowned for his bizarre movements.

I think both Grace and Catherine are destined for great things in the future if they are that good at such a young age.

Becs returned with Emma for a couple of duets on the Flute from Carmen by Georges Bizet, amusing and amazing us all as the final moments of the Gypsy Dance get very fast – their fingers were a blur!

It was good to see Ros in a different light, as a musician playing her Cello and not wielding the iron baton out at the front (I’m joking, she’s far too nice for that!). The Swan is such a calming, graceful tune, and Ros played it beautifully.

I always feel that when any instrument is played well, it’s almost as if the music comes from somewhere else – Strange to think that some simple vibrating strings can produce such beauty.

Sarah also performed a duet with Elizabeth – Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour (the Barcarolle) from Les contes d’Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffman) an ‘opéra fantastique’ by Jacques Offenbach. Those harmonies really had to be heard to be believed – Amazing!

I asked a friend what she thought of the evening, here’s what she replied:

I thoroughly enjoyed the fabulous mix of singing and musical entertainment.

The choir were brilliant! Very tricky songs handled with what appeared to be complete ease. I’m sure it meant some intense rehearsals, and it certainly paid off.
Elizabeth, the soloist, sang wonderfully despite not being, in her own words, the full Elizabeth Frankland.

So many people to mention, particularly Ros for arranging a superb evening; Fabulous Becs the pianist, and her flute duet, I could go on.

I thoroughly enjoyed La soiree Francaise!

Wow! – I hope you enjoyed this concert if you were there, if you were singing, or if you happened to walk past at just the right time and overheard (tickets are available for the next one!).
I think it’s time for me to settle down with something mildly warming and rest for a while.