Saturday, December 16, 2006

Poznan Nightingales - 08/12/2006@OLV Katedraal, Antwerpen

Poznan Nightingales (website)

IVN's parents invited us to this Christmas concert in Antwerpen's cathedral. Antwerpenaars alledgedly call it the most beautiful in the world. I'd be hard-pressed to agree.

I got there a bit late, but the first half of the concert consisted of Mozart. The choral, ranging in age from grandchildren to grandparents, was a little underpowered for the vast space, but I was impressed by their ensemble softness. The second half started with Bach and Handel, which were rather bland and maybe even a bit rough. I was really waiting for the Polish songs at the end of the program. They put the sheet music away and simply sang, naturally and instinctively. It all came powerfully alive, no thinking about German pronunciation.

I spent the rest of the week-end at IVN parents' home. I managed to read 1.5 chapters of Bob Dylan's Chronicles. In the first chapter alone, there were at least 10 delightful phrases that screamed "use me as your subtitle," but Hunter S. Thompson is still up there. I also listened to the Toots Thielemans installment in the De Morgen jazz series (another unfinished project...), which I don't have. It starts with some great George Shearing Quintet tracks and is excellent throughout the 50s and 60s. It seems that the 80s were when Toots developed his cold, irritating TV soundtrack sound...