Musical Journey: France (Brittany & Normandy)
The Places: Brittany and Normandy, in Northern France, have a character all their own, preserving, as they do, ancient Celtic traditions in a countryside bounded on one side by a rocky coast-line. The great Abbey of Mont St-Michel remains a centre of pilgrimage and secular interest, and in Normandy we catch glimpses of the Bayeux Tapestry, with it's near contemporary record of William of Normandy's successful expedition in 1066 to conquer England. The Music: The music chosen for this tour of Northern France is the Organ Symphony of Camille Saint-Saens, a work written in memory of Franz Liszt that takes it's name from the use of the organ in it's grandiose final movement. The other music to be heard is an orchestral version of the Belgian-born composer Cesar Franck's Prelude and Chorale, written two years earlier, in 1884, and the Romance in C major, Op. 48, of Saint-Saens.