We attended a really good concert held in the Silvacane Abbey. It is one of the three Cistercian abbeys in Provence known as the “three sisters of Provence” (“les trois soeurs provençales”), the other two being Sénanque Abbey and Le Thoronet Abbey.

It is late 12th or13th century, mostly Romanesque, with some Gothic elements. As is usual with early Cistercian buildings, the focus of the architecture is entirely on simplicity, austerity and harmony. The church interior, without decoration or distraction, is an outstanding example of 12th century Cistercian architecture. (This is information I found on the internet)

A view of the interior. It is a totally empty building, just a shell, although it may have always been like that being Cistercian.

The concert was at the early hour of 6 PM so the sun was setting and pouring through the windows directly on to the singers who were dressed in black and also under some spot lights. The are called the Choeur d’Hommes du Collegium Vocale Gent, a group from Belgium. It was really great to hear them sing acapella with their voices soaring with the great accoustics in the abbey. There was also a fabulous pianist, Frank Braley, also from Belgium. All of the music was Schubert and in German. German, Latin, all the same to me. I could imagine the ghosts of Cistercian monks listening to the music with pleasure.

A view of the cloisture there.

10 thoughts to “Concert”

  1. What a simple and yet effective building. Just shows you do not need the gilding and the paintings for the message to reach you. Is it still in use as a chapel for worship?

  2. What a fantastic post! You really take us there. The abbey is simply beautiful. Great photos of the interior. My favorite is the cloisture. Thanks, Linda.

  3. Linda, as I was looking at these photos I was trying to figure out where you were to take them and it appears you were up on the stage….I’m glad you were, because I love the photos, but I couldn’t help wondering if I would have been brave enough to do that.

    I imagine the acoustics in that lovely church were amazing.

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