Whether we like it or not, appreciate it or not, our year is punctuated by very codified moments of work and rest. Despite RTT and teleworking for those who exercise a profession authorizing such arrangements, despite requests to postpone vacations to avoid crowds if one is not or no longer dependent on the school calendar, this temporal division is still strongly marked .
Music festivals are no exception to the rule, which are largely concentrated during the summer months. However, if we look carefully, we happily discover some autumnal nuggets like in Ambronay in Ain, in Royaumont in Val-d’Oise, at the Ferme de Villefavard in Haute-Vienne or in the greenhouses of Auteuil, in Paris.
The unique experience of Mont-Saint-Michel
The 6th edition of Via Aeterna (co-produced by Bayard, publisher of La Croix) contributes to this autumnal enchantment, offering a welcome “bubble” of music before facing winter. According to a principle defined from the beginning, the event travels across the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel – this year from October 5 to 14 – to, on the last Sunday (October 15), gather on the Mont for an entire day.
If, on that day, the sky is clement and the sun music-loving, the morning arrival at the Mont, the stroll to the concerts between the abbey church, the Hall of Knights and the Refectory of the monks, then, in the evening , the somewhat melancholy return to dry land, constitute so many acts of an enchanted day.
Combining vocal and instrumental repertoire, from here and elsewhere, ancient or more contemporary, the program, concocted by René Martin (1), focuses primarily on the meeting between artists seized, inspired, by the beauty of the places and an audience in a state of “maximum receptivity”. A state ultimately quite rarely achieved, if we think about it for a moment.
How many times, in fact, have we not known, or been able to, sufficiently relieve ourselves of our real and futile worries, the stress of chaotic transport, the “depression” of gray weather… to let ourselves fully possessed by the concert or lyrical performance which concluded the day?
How many times, in reverse, has the nonchalant and idle relaxation of summer not slightly burdened the critical sense that we pride ourselves on exercising when we sit in front of the stage? What’s more, if the charm of the outdoors further anesthetizes the relevance of our listening…
A late-season festival like Via Aeterna is then situated in the middle: preserved from the prosaic flow of ordinary time but shaded by this delicate nostalgia sung by the poet Agrippa d’Aubigné (an expert in nostalgia…): “A “Autumn rose is more exquisite than any other.” The same goes for music.