Not your typical Nicois event

French barbershop quartet in the Anglican Church

This is not something I would have likely have ever done in New York but my friend Noel used to sing in a barbershop quartet. So when I saw there would be a performance in the Anglican Church, I was curious. 

It was actually quite good.  The singers were French but pronounced the English lyrics clearly. (Though river came out more like REe-vah). The harmonies were quite beautiful with lots of syncopation. And the program was surprisingly varied, from spirituals to My Fair Lady. A question for my musical friends: are there published arrangements for 4 part harmony for many songs, or did the musicians do their own arranging? 

This was the program. The “intervention parlee” was a French lady explaining at great length the origins of the barbershop quartet and the lyrics to the songs. Typically French to intellectualize a pop concert. 

1. The sunshine of your smile
A. Intervention parlée 1
2. Moon River
3. Because (Teschemacher et Hardelot) 4. Lucky old sun
5. Ain’t we got fun
B. Intervention parlée 2
6. Basin Street 7. Lullaby 8. Swanee
C. Intervention parlée 3
9. Love me, and the world is mine
10. Somewhere over the rainbow
11. On the streets where you live (My Fair Lady)
D. Intervention parlée 4
12. M.Sandman
13. Surfer Girl (Beach Boys) 14. Hello Mary Lou

Lenten Festivals

I still haven’t quite figured out why the French throw their carnivals and festivals during Lent. Aren’t they supposed to be giving things up? Anyway, right now there’s the famous Nice Carnival, which I am doing my best to avoid, the citrus festival in Menton and a mimosa festival down the coast somewhere. I did attend a floral naval battle in villefranche this week. The boats, covered in roses and mimosas, threw flowers at the spectators. I didn’t have a view of the boats but was upfront for the accompanying parade. As you’ll note, French parades do not preclude sitting at lunch drinking wine.