Thursday, May 2, 2013

Music in the Rafters - Vancouver Views


Christ Church Cathedral, shown below, is the place where we heard music beneath the rafters of a Heritage building. Its architecture, warm wooden interior and stained glass windows form a peaceful oasis in the downtown core. The Georgia Street side of the church sits across the street from the Hotel Vancouver.


Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver by DG Hudson


On April 26, the West Coast Symphony Orchestra performed in this beautiful church for two hours. The Hector Berlioz, 'Symphonie Fantastique' was the main piece. It's a story that's autobiographical and which helped to establish Berlioz's reputation. It tells the tale of unrequitted love, and the suffering of the artist.



Christ Church Side Garden facing Burrard St, by DG Hudson


Included in this program was a group of guest artist/musicians, the Music Progressive Quartet, from Skopje, Macedonia. They are members of the National Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra, and their work was presented at the beginning of the concert. They have a fresh jazz approach to traditional folk songs of Macedonia.

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About the Cathedral. . .

Dedicated in 1895, Christ Church Cathedral was built in the Gothic Style with a ceiling made of cedar planking and ceiling beams and floor constructed out of old growth Douglas fir. Maybe that's why it reminds me of a tall ship's interior cabins. The warm wood and structural design lend an elegance to the interior of the church.



Christ Church Cathedral Rafters, Vancouver by DG Hudson


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The West Coast Symphony Orchestra, with Principal Conductor Bujar Llapaj, is a community orchestra of exceptional quality. They bring talented performers and new musical programs of classical works for audiences in the Vancouver area, and the Lower Mainland. Concerts that we've attended have been about 2 hours long.

In the image below, you can see the central stained glass windows and the arched ceiling rafters of Christ Church Cathedral.


West Coast Symphony-Tuning, by DG Hudson
 
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Seeing the interior of this church brought to mind the exterior of Notre Dame in Paris, it has the same architectural style and similar design flourishes. I'm glad the church was saved from being replaced by a downtown condo! Let's continue to keep these survivors from earlier times to show us what craftmanship looked like, when life moved at a slower pace.



Gothic ceiling of Christ Church Cathedral, by DG Hudson


Live music with great acoustics can be enjoyed on a budget, if you know where to look. In this case, it's a symphony but other musical acts perform in Kitsilano and other areas in the city. Hope you enjoyed this little side trip into a piece of Vancouver.

Next on the cultural event horizon: Vancouver Jazz Festival in June.

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Do you like live orchestral music? Any opportunities in your area to attend these type of events? Do you like the older churches with beautiful ceilings like this one?
Please share in the comments and thanks for stopping by.

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References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_Church_Cathedral_(Vancouver)
Christ Church Cathedral-Vancouver

http://www.westcoastsymphony.ca/about.html West Coast Symphony (offers pay-by-donation events to sponsor music for everyone) Check website for details.

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21 comments:

  1. I did get to see the San Francisco Symphony do Copland's 'Appalachian Spring', that was awesome. But I'll never forget seeing a choir & orchestra do Mozart's Requiem in it's entirety on 9/11/02 in Tacoma church...it was called 'rolling Requiem' and started at 8:45 AM on the east coast and continued west through each time zone at 8:45, when the first planes hit.

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    1. That sounds like a huge concerted effort and I hadn't heard of this before. Thanks for sharing that.

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  2. That would be such splendid place to listen to such a concert. It must have played into your soul. Awesome. :)

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    1. It does, Mary. I am always touched by live music, it's power to move emotions.

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  3. That ceiling! It does look like a ship's hull. And I'll bet the sound was incredible.

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    1. I was thinking (as I enjoyed the music) of how I could use the church in a story, especially that balcony on the right side. The acoustics were excellent.

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  4. That is some ceiling! I like live classical music very much.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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    1. Music can reach all of us. Only listening is required.

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  5. Awesome photos, as always. "Fresh jazz approach to traditional folk songs of Macedonia" -- I don't know if I could even imagine that!

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    1. Thanks Milo! To give you an idea of the style of music we heard: it has a hint of 'gypsy music', finely tuned. We've heard this symphony once before in a New Westminster, BC church. Great acoustics again.

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  6. gorgeous! I love old churches and cathedrals but didn't see the real deal until I moved to France. Our local church celebrated it's 700 year anniversary last year. Just amazing and the ecoustics are something else.

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    1. I'd love to see a 700 year old church. There's something about the history and the endurance of the buildings that impresses me, no end. Nice to see you dropping in, CQ Girl!

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  7. What a fantastic thing to have seen! I love classical music. I haven't seen that church for a loooong time. I've never been inside, but I remember passing it frequently years ago. It's a beautiful old building.
    I can't wait for our local, (Chilliwack)Party in the Park, which the city puts on every Friday evening in the summer. Every week it's a different band...fun fun fun!

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    1. I love live music, Eve, from classical in a church to Bob Dylan's wall of sound in a smaller theatre hall, to outdoor concerts like you mention. It's all good. I'll have to keep in mind those evening concerts in Chilliwack.

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  8. I would have liked to have attended that concert! I really like the music selection, and the building is so beautiful!

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    1. The churches and the Symphony partner together so more people can hear live classical music.

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  9. To be honest, I've never just listened to a live orchestra, so I'm not sure. However, wonderful singing tends to touch me, so I imagine orchestra music might do the same.

    I do love old churches. In fact, I'm considering doing a bit of a photo tour of local churches. At least the outsides. We have so many different types, and such wonderful old churches, with amazing architecture. Maybe in the fall, when the leaves are still on the trees and the kids are in school so I can spend time taking the photos.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. I think that would be a great idea, Shannon. I love architecture, and the history of some of the churches. The fall would be a picturesque time to do that post.

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  10. I love this type of music! I have to check and see what is available in my neck of the woods~
    Thank you for this insightful post....I love the photos! What a beautiful church :D

    Thank you for sharing!

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    1. It is a beautiful church, and I love the old style interior. The West Coast Symphony always puts on a great show. Glad you liked it, Ella.

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  11. The catherdral looks gorgeous, I imagine the atmasphere with an orchestra was amazing!
    In reply to your comment on my blog and your daughter, I struggled to find others of a similar age myself to be able to relate to and talk to so if I can help her in anyway that would be great. I've had the same thing with friends accusing me of faking it too and as sad as it is it does happen! Thanks for taking the time to comment :)

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