|window in the Cathedral|
|St Michael & St. Gudula Cathedral|
There is very little in the world that beats listening to music in the space of a cathedral (Bonnie and I had heard Leonard Bernstein conduct Mozart's Requiem in St. Michael's when we lived there back in 1985/86... now THAT was a piece of magic!) Verlaine and I were in Brussels when King Baudoin died (July 31, 1993). We got to stand on the streets with other mourners as the funeral procession moved through the streets up to the Cathedral for the funeral mass. That was an unreal experience.
|Cathedral on Christmas Eve|
In short, how could I NOT go off to the Cathedral on Christmas Eve?! I knew Verlaine would be there with me in spirit! :-) My brood (as usual in this context) were not feeling inclined to venture out. Alex (who has been knocked out by the worst cold/flu of his life) was still totally sick and in bed. Duncan was happily plugged into his new Star Wars game (free internet connection in the hotel lobby). Steve agreed to stay back and watch the kids, so I headed off to the Cathedral.
|the Cathedral Organ|
|under the feet of the Saints...|
As for the Mass itself, the music, "Missa in Nativaitate Domini", was by a relatively young composer (ie. MY age) named Kurt Bikkembergs. The music was hauntingly beautiful. I can't find a recording of it on the internet, but there is another piece of his (De Profundis Clamavi) you can find on youtube;It gives some sense of the dischordant harmonies that marked the piece. It was both edgy and amazing in the space of the cathedral. Great way to spend Christmas Eve. Wish you had of been there with me, Verlaine!