Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007-2013. Please give credit where credit is due.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Ave Maria

Warm and breezy. Following the heat of July, when the cats flatten themselves against the cool stone, the chickens rest immobile on their shady perches and the rush-about people wonder if they shouldn't be doing the same - following the heat of July, August in Piemonte is perfect.

Carmine's Chiesa di San Gottardo attracts many visitors. Some simply make the walk from Cannobio to Cannero through the woods and happen upon the village and its jewel of a church by chance. Some ignore the church but enjoy the view along with their picnics. Others call ahead to be sure that the church is open and there is someone there to tell them a little of what we know about the frescoes. Some are knowledgeable, some just interested, and many are very tired. Most leave nothing behind them when they leave. A few leave their trash (harrumph!). But a small number leave behind something invisible and altogether indefinable.

The other day I unlocked the church for a group of six French visitors. I left them inside, gazing in rapture up and around, soaking up the colours, getting a feeling for the forms and losing themselves in the patterns. Among them was a man, perhaps in his late sixties, wearing shorts and a singlet. He had white curly hair, a farmer's sunny face and a warm Gallic greeting. When I returned a few minutes later, it was to the sound of this ordinary man's extraordinary lyric tenor singing the Bach/Gounod Ave Maria. We were all of us transfixed, as he caressed these ancient walls with his voice, as he played the church's acoustics like a master cellist, and when the final soaring notes came, it seemed that the church itself shuddered with pleasure. 

Carmine's Chiesa di San Gottardo attracts many visitors. Some are moved by its beauty to add something unique and beautiful of their own. Thank-you to the unnamed Frenchman for those unexpected and exquisite five minutes. 





2 comments:

Catharine Brode said...

Must have been stunning.

chrysalis said...

Wish I could have been there - so moving..............

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Ave Maria

Warm and breezy. Following the heat of July, when the cats flatten themselves against the cool stone, the chickens rest immobile on their shady perches and the rush-about people wonder if they shouldn't be doing the same - following the heat of July, August in Piemonte is perfect.

Carmine's Chiesa di San Gottardo attracts many visitors. Some simply make the walk from Cannobio to Cannero through the woods and happen upon the village and its jewel of a church by chance. Some ignore the church but enjoy the view along with their picnics. Others call ahead to be sure that the church is open and there is someone there to tell them a little of what we know about the frescoes. Some are knowledgeable, some just interested, and many are very tired. Most leave nothing behind them when they leave. A few leave their trash (harrumph!). But a small number leave behind something invisible and altogether indefinable.

The other day I unlocked the church for a group of six French visitors. I left them inside, gazing in rapture up and around, soaking up the colours, getting a feeling for the forms and losing themselves in the patterns. Among them was a man, perhaps in his late sixties, wearing shorts and a singlet. He had white curly hair, a farmer's sunny face and a warm Gallic greeting. When I returned a few minutes later, it was to the sound of this ordinary man's extraordinary lyric tenor singing the Bach/Gounod Ave Maria. We were all of us transfixed, as he caressed these ancient walls with his voice, as he played the church's acoustics like a master cellist, and when the final soaring notes came, it seemed that the church itself shuddered with pleasure. 

Carmine's Chiesa di San Gottardo attracts many visitors. Some are moved by its beauty to add something unique and beautiful of their own. Thank-you to the unnamed Frenchman for those unexpected and exquisite five minutes. 





2 comments:

Catharine Brode said...

Must have been stunning.

chrysalis said...

Wish I could have been there - so moving..............