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Boston Musicians Toast Famous French Cathedral

This article is more than 8 years old.
Reims Cathedral in France celebrates 800 years with a  performance by the Boston Camerata on Tuesday. (Simon Greig/Flickr)
Reims Cathedral in France celebrates 800 years with a performance by the Boston Camerata on Tuesday. (Simon Greig/Flickr)

French kings were crowned in Reims Cathedral for centuries. On Tuesday, members of the Boston Camerata, an early music ensemble, get to perform there.

The group was invited to take part in a region-wide celebration of the famous cathedral's 800th anniversary.

The ornate building is considered a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. It's located in the heart of French champagne country, so you can imagine the number of corks that will pop in honor of its long life and historical significance.

Reims Cathedral is also the seat of the Archdiocese of Reims.

The Boston Camerata created a program of medieval music specifically for the occasion. Artistic Director Anne Azema is French-born and said getting the commission was an honor.

Reims Cathedral, Reims, France (Happy A/Flickr)
Reims Cathedral, Reims, France (Happy A/Flickr)

"All modesty aside I think they chose us because we've now been doing early music for 60 years or so, and we carry proudly the name of Boston all over the world," Azema said.

Pieces from the 13th and 14th centuries will fill the cathedral's cavernous spaces. Azema said in choosing them she and the Boston Camerata musicians found inspiration in the building itself. The works make reference to Reims Cathedral's architecture as well as its past.

Azema added that the anniversary party will be massive. And yes, she assured me that she and the members of the Boston Carmera will be sipping a fair bit of the region's famous champagne.

This program aired on June 21, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

Andrea Shea Twitter Senior Arts Reporter
Andrea Shea is WBUR's arts reporter.

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