28 Joe Wicks Recipes for Cheap, Easy Meals
Fix your food rut
I’ve encountered many moods at the Wigmore Hall over the years, but not until Saturday night was I drowned in the smell of incense. Or so it seemed, because for two hours the French group Le Concert Spirituel immersed us in the sweetly pious music of French 19th-century Catholicism. © Satochi Aoyagi French group Le Concert Spirituel - Satochi Aoyagi
Part of the pleasure of the concert was encountering an unknown side of well-known composers. Camille Saint-Saëns, the author of gorgeously voluptuous operas and a jokey piece about animals, here turned up on his knees, as it were, as the author of five exquisite short pieces for choir and instruments. Léo Delibes, composer of naughty ballets, was represented by an Ave maris stella, and Charles Gounod, author of that thrillingly satanic opera Faust, contributed a little jewel for violin and organ, to be played before the Elevation of the Host.
28 Joe Wicks recipes for cheap, easy meals
Fix your food rut
All these pieces were personal discoveries of the group’s director, Hervé Niquet, who amused and charmed the audience by first apologising for being French, and then offering the concert as a memorial gift for our late monarch. It was an apt thought, because all the music was sweetly consoling. No less than 13 singers and 11 instrumentalists, including two horns, organ, six string players and harp were squeezed onto that small stage, and they made a wonderful sound. The singing especially was thrillingly full-bodied, at times almost operatic, and a long way from that pure “white” sound that seems to be de rigueur in the performance of sacred music in Britain.
That strong core of expressively rich sound, along with Niquet’s well-judged, flowing tempos meant that the music stayed just this side of the line that divides tender sentimentality from sickliness. At times it rose to a triumphant din, as in Alexandre Guilmant’s resplendent O salutaris, and there were moments of drama, particularly in Saint-Saëns’ Ave verum, where the rasping horns evoked the suffering of the Saviour. But the prevailing tone was a reverent tenderness, garlanded with tinkling harp and fluty organ, and focused by the expressive singing of baritone Jean-Christophe Lanièce and some beautifully drooping solos from violinist Chouchane Siranossian.
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After the interval we were treated to the best-known work from this enclosed, little-known musical world, Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem. In Niquet’s nicely-judged arrangement for small forces (with sad, reedy-sounding violas to the fore), and performed here under his flowing, unsentimental direction, this well-worn piece regained its power to move. But it was the unknown pieces, with their fascinating mix of tremulous soft sensuality and piety, that were the evening’s real highlight.
See this concert for 90 days at wigmore-hall.org.uk
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Honey and mustard red cabbage recipe .
Once the initial softening is done, this dish is pretty hands-off, leaving you plenty of time to prepare the rest of the trimmings.Find more of our favourite side dish ideas to feed a crowd.