Heaven is pretty much how we'd describe the Haut Savoie region of France where the festival Musique et Nature en Bauges has engaged us every year for four years now. We are always thrilled to come back, and await with impatience to see the Lac du Bourget and the many things you can do beside it and on it and around it. It was also very good to see the sun after almost a week of rain. We stay in Aix les Bains at a great hotel with a great restaurant which we arrived to find closed on Mondays. Somehow we managed to overcome that disappointment and had a great day anyway. Since we had done "Love Story" for this festival last year, we made them a new program of American repertoire, with lots of jazz and gospel, Corigliano's "Linvitation au voyage," Barber's "Heaven Haven" and some Mexican Baroque from our recent mission tour which all went down very well. One audience member, in perfect French character, expressed outrage and incomprehension about the fact that Corigliano set Baudelaire's poem in English, but you would expect no less!
The festival moves us around the region; this time we were in the beautiful town of Annecy at the Cathedral. There is some kind of magic between us and the public here - we feel instantly embraced and it just carries on. Thanks to Anthime Leroy for bringing us back ( and back) and we'll come any time he invites us! The festival is entirely run by volunteers who we like to meet and thank with a little song after the performance, and they serve us lots of Tome, the famous local cheese.