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<<  -- 2 --  Jennifer Paull    REMINISCENT RETROSPECTIVES


The city of poets and roses, Shiraz is a jewel set in the desert. The heat was fierce, and the snow of Chester Cathedral was as distant as the culture of which Bach's oeuvre is perfection in architecture. Yet this was another memory of smiling faces and the warmth of friendship.

The soukh in Shiraz is a magical place with a high domed ceiling and arches crowded with stalls and tiny shops lining a central ally way. There were spices and silks, woollen waistcoats and sheepskin hats for shepherds. Hand beaten copper urns and brass coffee pots shone new and fresh in the shadowy, relative cool of the interior.

Darius, Alexander the Great, the High Temple of the Zoroastrians, Xerxes' tomb; these were all ingredients of the history lessons I so loved as a child in a sea port in the North West of England. Yet here I was, amid my personal bookmarks, the splendour of civilisations passed, and legends of antiquity so old that Bach suddenly felt modern!

Eventually, I settled in the French part of Switzerland, and was a founder member of the Lausanne Camerata. I remember the most severe winter conditions, subzero temperatures and colossal drifts of snow. We were afraid that the bus taking the orchestra and soloists over the pass to La-Chaux-de-Fonds wasn't going to make it.. It was bitterly cold outside when we eventually reached the concert hall. We were very grateful for its warmth as we played a short run through prior to the performance.

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Copyright © 1 February 2002 Jennifer Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland





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