What an excellent evening.
Kick-off was in St Quintins, with musicians representing 4 continents – a didgeridoo-er especially for Helen, an Central Asian throat-singer on byzaanchy, an African drummer and a European fiddler.
(Don’t know where the Americas got to, but if their absence saved us from those darned Peruvian panpipes,I’m quite happy..)
The fiddler and drummer then led the gathered throng across to the Cathedral (the Pied Fiddler?) while we zipped around the corner to the Josefskapelle (slide shows of its reconstruction) and St Christoph (sitar music and paintings).
St Peters was the highlight, though.
Never been in there and its sheer ornateness is stunning. Best of all, though, was a hotline councillor who talked about the significance of the night in their work and the bandwidth of troubles that they’re confronted with. Humble, quiet, immensely moving.
The Cathedral is – for me – a cold church. Massive and uninviting.
But if you bathe it in ochre light and position 3 choirs (a capella and Gregorian chanting) around its perimeter with the organ interplaying, it’s a place you really don’t want to leave in a hurry.
St Ignaz in the Altstadt was a treat, too. Not a lot happening inside, but they’d made the garden into a winebar with floodlit walls and long tables and benches.
And we were quite tired and thirsty at this point.
Last port of call was St Stephan at the top of the Gaustrasse.
The big question facing them was : How do you try and top the Chagall windows, given the dire lack of sunlight at way-past-bedtime o’clock?
The simple answer is: You don’t.
You line the pews with simple candles, hang translucent paintings in the cloister opening and light them from the garden.
By this stage we were even tireder and even thirstierer, so we nipped across to the tapas bar for some liquid sustenance.
Thanks for that, Helen.
And thank you, Mainz.
(Don’t know where Guido got to, though…)