Charcuterie anyone? - Cahors April 26 2014
Yesterday was a major tourist day but serious rain somewhat modified the pleasure. The market in Cahors was first stop, great fruit, vegetables, flowers and charcuterie. Very typical and one of the many pleasures of living in France. The Cahors market is on Saturday mornings until 12:30. Its location is just by the cathedral where at 11 am the great organ blasts forth for 30 minutes. Yesterday it was Bach and Mendelssohn and provided a relaxed sit down after traipsing around the market stalls.
Just a block north of the cathedral is a modest but excellent lunch place, Le Baladin. So that was a quick pleasure before taking off for a trip up the Lot valley as far as Calvignac where we crossed and made our way up to Sauliac-sur-Célé, thence down the Célé valley back to Cahors.
The village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie overlooking the river Lot
The Lot valley of course is stunning, even on this rainy day. And a diversion to St Cirq Lapopie coincided with a dry spell. This is an almost too perfect village which must be hell to navigate in the summer - a French Clovelly. But yesterday it was calm and delightful.
Saint-Cirq-Lapopie 2:30 pm April 26 2014
And so eventually back to Cahors in time for a small supper before the Cosi fan tutte from the Met. And what a joy it is to see James Levine back. He seems to have arrived with new energy and youthful enthusiasm. And his interview in the intermission (pre recorded) was evidence that this very great conductor is likely to enrich us all with his warmth and wisdom, and his inspiration to a good many generations of singers and musicians to come.
The already on paper excellent ensemble of Susanna Phillips, Isabel Leonard, Danielle De Niese, Matthew Polenzani, Rodion Pogossov, and Maurizio Muraro was brought to new heights by Levine - an absorbing example of the difference a conductor can make......!
A post script to my post about the Ferrier prize - the winners on Friday were the accomplished Austrian soprano Christina Gansch, second prize went to soprano with the really splendid voice Sarah-Jane Lewis, and the song prize to Jennifer France. The most excellent accompanist Matthew Fletcher won the pianist's prize. Congratulations to all four young people.