Cezanne Was Here

Cezanne Was Here

Music & Markets April Easter Festival, 2015
Aix-en-Provence, France

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
We’re looking ahead to summer – join us on the fabulous Amalfi Coast in July?

Sometimes you’ve got to be creative and inventive on the spur of the moment, and this was one of those days. We walked to Avis to pick up our rental car, ready for a drive north to the Luberon, and what met us there? A big sign on the door with our name (along with a few others) saying that the office was closed today, giving us an option of picking up a car in another location. No phone call, no notice….don’t think we’ll use this company again! So since art is a major interest of Elaine’s we decided to walk (uphill ALL the way!)04061501 aix hike to Cezanne’s atelier this morning. 04061501 atelier cezanneWe’ve often stopped at this beautiful spot, appreciating the spacious grounds with many inviting sitting areas (where we’ve seen poets and artists at work)04061501 inviting gardens welcome to sit paint write think but have never gone inside. What a pleasure it was to see his high-ceilinged and well-lit workroom, with many of the props he used for still lifes right there, just as they were during his day (no photos allowed of the interior).
I’m sure this rear window was not covered with branches in his day. 04061501 rear window now treed over long slat to slide paintingsYou can barely see, from the outside, the top of the 6 foot tall narrow iron “door”  on the left through which he slid his landscapes when he wanted to be outside to work on them. After wandering the grounds,04061501 wandered aroundwe walked still higher up the hill to the Terrain des Peintres, a favored perch from where Cezanne painted many of his views of Mt. Saint Victoire.04061502 climb higher to favored perchWith views like this no wonder he chose this spot!04061502 no wonder with view like thisAn easy downhill walk all the way to Cours Mirabeau, and we’re seated in the sun for a delicious lunch at L’Estello,04061502 wonderful lunch on Coursso bright that a “hat” is required!04061503 a hat requiredWelcome to our place for an evening aperitif! 04061503 aperoAnd then a robust Mahler symphony, the stage packed with an orchestra 200 strong, PLUS a chorus of hundreds! Quite a contrast to last night’s two-person concert, and that’s how we like it – we include a variety of venues as well as ensembles, from full orchestras in a symphony hall to a duo in an historic intimate theater on a Music and Markets Tour – we love it all! 04061503 two on stage last night two hundred plus tonightMahler’s Second Symphony is known as the “Resurrection” and as the choir quietly joins the orchestra in the final movement, we’re waiting for what must be coming…the powerful full-voice jubilation of “Rise again, yes, you shall rise again, my dust”. I get goose-bumps just remembering it!


Views and Tastes in Aix

Views and Tastes in Aix

Thursday, April 24, 2014, continued
Aix en Provence, France

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!  Join us on a summer tour on the Amalfi Coast, in Provence, or in Amsterdam/Belgium

Kirk and I often walk up the steep hill to Cezanne’s atelier and the Terrain des Peintres (Painters Garden) when we’re in Aix – the views towards Mt. Saint Victoire are what drew Cezanne here, and remain breathtaking to this day. On the way back to town from Cassis, we detour up the hill, find a parking place (not easy on this busy two lane road!) and lead the way up the zigzag path through the olive trees.

Our guests are as impressed as we always are, snapping photos of the view,

and noting the museum locations of the many canvases that were painted right here.

An exotic dinner awaits us in Aix – delicious Moroccan cuisine at Le Riad,

where middle Eastern themed tents are arranged around a delightful courtyard.

Bowls of steaming couscous and tagines of lamb and chicken, strewn with almonds and dried fruits,take us to the far reaches of Francophone influence – delicious!

A sampling of Moroccan pastries is the perfect light dessert,

served with coffee or tea – Ruth does a good job of  a high pour,

but not over her head as the waiter did!