Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance that he himself has spun...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Les Jeudis Musicaux

Last Thursday the younger Frenchling and I made our way to the Versailles castle for what turned out to be an extraordinary evening.

Les Jeudis Musicaux (Musical Thursdays) are concerts organized by the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles at the Versailles Castle. And not just anywhere in the castle mind you but in the Royal Chapel.    

Sacred music in a sacred place.  What an incredible experience to hear the music written for chapels and churches hundreds of years ago.  The music that people listened to when they went to Mass.


And what was on the program last Thursday evening?

Jean-Jean-François Dandrieu
Magnificat en La 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Ave verum

Louis Grénon
Petite Messe en la majeur (A Major)

And for the last they kindly provided both the Latin and the French translations in the program so that we could all follow along as the choir sang the mass.  It was really something at the end when they chanted Domine salvum fac regem (God save the King):

Domine salvum fac regem
& exaudi nos in die
qua invocaverimus te

Seigneur sauvez le Roy
& exaucez-nous au jour
que nous vous invoquerons

God save the King
and answer us the day 
we call on you

These Musical Thursdays are just one of the many cultural events held here in Versailles that are not nearly as well known as they should be.  (Another is the incredible show put on by the  L'Académie du spectacle équestre (The Academy of Equestrian Arts) in the King's Stables).

And would you believe that these musical feasts are completely free to the public?  You don't even have to buy a ticket to get inside the the castle - you just go directly to a door adjacent to the chapel, say you are there for the concert, and they usher you right in.  Amazing.

Don't miss it next time you are in the city.  And if you send me a note ahead of time, I'll go with you.

In fact, I'd go every Thursday if I could.  This is the kind of "stuff" I love and I personally think is well worth paying for.  I am so very grateful that I live in a country that sees nourishment for the soul and the mind as something worth offering to everyone.

2 comments:

Rosy said...

Hello Victoria, A lovely post indeed. And makes me feel somewhat guilty for not taking advantage of what is also disgustingly close by to me. Am currently, in my free time (hahaha...) wading through the mess that we've been talking about in other posts. But as soon as I can get my head above the water, I'll gladly join you somewhere in Versailles. Kudos for all this lovely writing which you're doing in such difficult circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Lucky you! It makes you wish you lived close to Versailles! Thanks for sharing this!