les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Friday, September 10, 2021

The new choir

I've been out of sorts for a few days, forgetful, bothered and distracted. I leave the house without my tram card or my masks. I can't remember whether I locked the door or not. There's something going on, but I don't think it's anything serious.

Anyway, if Pat had not urged me on I would probably not have gone to the rehearsal of the new choir.

But she did. So I did.

It must be a 40 to 50 person choir. I felt a little uneasy as we sat quite close together in the rehearsal room, but we were all masked and in principle all vaccinated or tested.

The average age was about 10 years more than me. Allmost all the men appeared to be in their seventies or over. I feet pretty young! 

We're singing Brahms, Saint-Saëns and  Franck. It's a huge change from the repertoire in the chamber choir. There it was largely 20th century. This is romantic stuff.

And last night's two songs are in German. German has influenced French, but it remains quite different. French is all about vowels - lots of them - all subtly different. German is all about consonants. Lots of them. And all needing to be pronounced.

One chap, faced with the word schleicht, said "All that to go in just one note!".

Thankfully there is a German among the basses. Questioned again about the initial "s" in German words - pronounced like "z" in English, he said "There are not fifty ways of pronouncing letters in German, not like in French !"

There we are. Back singing again.

The rehearsal room is in a tree-lined garden. Tree-lined gardens in Bordeaux mean mosquitos. So I anointed myself with essential oil of mint in a neutral oil carrier. I ponged of mint briefly, then I either got used to it or the force wore off. Not one bite!

The journey home was an adventure. "Take bus 5, then bus 11" said the app. What it didn't say was that the stops I needed were all out of service because of roadworks, so I spent quite a lot of the night charging up and down roads trying to find a bus stop that was still functional. Still, I'll know for next time.

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