A Norwegian nursery rhyme played by the virtuoso pianist and composer Jean-François Zygel closed out a delightful evening of improvisations and other compositions at the Chapelle Saint-Ferréol.
Mr. Zygel, a professor at the Paris Conservatory and the winner of the “Victoire de la Musique Classique” in 2006, charmed the audience with witty anecdotes as well as with his awesome talent on the keyboards. He makes frequent appearances on French television and the “Blog de Jean-François Zygel” is heard on France Musique. His recent album is “Improvisations” (2008).
The receipts from his two evening recitals are slotted for the preservation of the recently renovated Chapelle Saint Ferréol located at the foot of the valley near Viens in the eastern Vaucluse.
Saint Ferréol was believed to be the saint responsible for bringing rain in the fall to a Provence parched by a hot summer. The local farmers would pray for rain in the small Chapelle Saint-Ferréol.
The Chapelle fell into ruin in the 1930’s; the walls cracked and a tree sprang up in the apt. An association was formed to renovate the Chapelle with the significant support of Christine-Ruiz Picasso, the widow of Paulo, the eldest son of Pablo Picasso.
Madame Picasso, who attended the recital, related to PVB that she has a strong emotional attachment to the Chapelle: her grandmother took her first communion there. In order to assure that the work would be completed in two years, Madame Picasso sold a building to provide the appropriate funding for the extensive renovation.
Note: The Museo Picasso Málaga, opened in 2003, was made possible by the generous donations of Christine and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso. The collection in Pablo Picasso’s native city includes 133 works donated by Christine-Ruiz Picasso and 22 pieces donated by Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, the artist’s grandson.
Chapelle Saint-Ferréol, Viens. Directions: Take highway D900 east from Apt. Turn left for direction Oppedette on D33.
August 18-28: Kazimierz Pemagalski, paintings, Vernissage at 6:00 p.m. on August 18. Open daily from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
August 29: Groupe Jazz a Cinq, 9:00 p.m., 15 euros, reservations 06-23-85-10-12
Sept. 4-17: Inge Bjorn, rugs and works of wool, silk and linen, Vernissage Sept. 4 at 6:00 p.m. in conjunction with the “Nuit du Nord” presented by the Conteuse Magrethe Hojlund. Open daily from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.