The Diary of One Who Disappeared is the title of a song cycle written by the Czech composer Leoš Janáček. One of the purposes of this site is to be a sort of diary where I can keep a record of some of the things that I have spent my time doing, as well as memories that I want to preserve. The tabs above also contain some essays that I have written on subjects that interest me.
Although I am English I have disappeared from my native land and now split my life between my house in the south west of France and an apartment in the north east of Italy. This gives me the opportunity to take advantage of a range of activities, including attending concerts and operas by favourite composers such as Janáček, Mahler, Stravinsky and others, I go to art exhibitions throughout Europe and love to travel and explore as much as I can.
In the city of Toulouse, known as ‘La Ville Rose’ after the distinctive pink stone used to construct many of its buildings. Especially impressive are the central square, Place du Capitole, and the eleventh-century Basilique Saint-Sernin.
At the World Heritage Site of Lascaux in the Dordogne Valley in France. An amazing complex of caves with over 600 wall paintings from around 18,000 years ago. Discovered in 1940, it was open to the public from 1948 until 1963 when contamination brought about its closure. Seventeen years were then spent constructing Lascaux II, an exact replica of the cave and its paintings. The paintings are primarily of large animals that were once native to the area.
‘Hall of the Bulls’, Lascaux II
‘Horses’, Lascaux II
‘Megaloceros deer’, Lascaux II
An evening of Debussy and Mendelssohn played by the really excellent Quatuor Varèse at the Festival de Musique Romantique in Salviac in the Lot department of France.
Debussy String Quartet; Mendelssohn String Quartet no. 6.
An excellent concert of Haydn, Mendelssohn and Beethoven String Quartets played by Quatuor Ardeo in the beautiful medieval church at Audrix in the Dordogne.
Haydn String Quartet no. 3; Mendelssohn String Quartet no. 1; Beethoven String Quartet no. 3.
A very enjoyable evening at the Festival ‘8 de Montcabrier’, with a programme of Debussy, Satie and Fauré extremely well performed.
Debussy: Prélude à l’aprés midi d’un faune; Satie: Gnossiennes I, Piccadily, Gymnopédie I; Fauré: Sicilienne pour violoncelle et piano; Fauré: Fantaisie pour flute et piano; Fauré: Quatuor pour piano et cordes no. 1.
At Chateau de Biron in the Dordogne for the exhibition ‘Living Natures’. Representations of nature in art from the collections of the Maeght Foundation.
Wassily Kandinsky ‘Red Knot’ (1936)
Fernand Léger ‘La partie de campagne’ (1954)
Marc Chagall ‘Tour Eiffel à l’âne rouge’ (1954)
Georges Braque ‘The Bird and his Shadow’ (1959)
In Pont-Aven, Brittany, home of the Pont-Aven School of artists who gathered around Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard in the 1880s. Paul Serusier painted the work known as ‘The Talisman’ there, which would be instrumental in the beginning of the Nabis movement.
The Musée de Pont-Aven has an extensive permanent collection of paintings by Nabis artists and an excellent temporary exhibition of ‘La Modernite en Bretagne’.
Paul Gauguin ‘Les Lavandiéres à Pont-Aven’ (1886)
Emile Bernard ‘Madeleine au Bois d’Amour’ (1888)