Le Choeur d'Alzonne - The Alzonne Choir
Date: March 18, 2011
Hello to all in the Community.
I am writing not just to say hello and introduce myself, but also because I am interested to learn about other groups and what they are doing - hopefully to pick up ideas and thoughts and to learn from them.
My group is Le Choeur d'Alzonne. Alzonne is a smallish village on the road that links Toulouse to Carcassonne and Narbonne in the southwest of France. We are bounded by the Pyrenees Mountains in the south, the Massif Centrale to the north, and the Mediterranean Sea to the east. It is a beautiful area which is full of vineyards, and winemaking is very important to the local economy. The area is also full of history. The Cathars were concentrated in this region until they were cruelly wiped out in the 13th century. There are very many reminders of those terrible times in the form of castles perched precariously on top of mountains.
The region has an ideal climate, with four distinct seasons. Winter, although short, can be viciously cold as our climate is affected by the snowfields of the Pyrenees and the Alps are also not too far away. Summer can be like a furnace, but spring and autumn are delightful. Many people are attracted here from colder northern countries, including Britain. This is reflected in the make-up of the choir. Although we are multi-national, the French predominate, and rehearsals are held in French, with due regard for any language difficulty on the part of new arrivals in the area.
When I took over the choir about four years ago, it had been singing modern French chansons, often in unison. However, I detected that there was a willingness to move into a different repertoire on the part of most people. This did eventually lose us a few members, but those who remained are quite happy with our work. And I am delighted with the progress that the choir has made. Although we number only 21 singers, the sound is good and the pace of learning is fast. This makes the chef's job a little easier. We have become ever more adventurous and our end of year concert in June this year will include pieces by Rheinberger, Kodály, Fauré, and will finish with Mozart's Coronation Mass (K.317).
If you would like to learn a little more about us, and me, please visit our website : http://alzonne-choeur.squarespace.com/home/
And you can hear us sing on Youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBa6BsK2V3A Hope you like it. Hope to hear from you.