Today’s impressive national commemoration of the 130 victims of the Paris terror attacks was dignified by four pieces of music, appropriate to the occasion.
The first was Jacques Brel’s Quand on n’a que lamour, delivered by four popular singers.
Then came the Marsellaise, performed by the orchestra and chorus of the French army. It was given in the beautiful orchestral version by Hector Berlioz, introduced by television commentators as ‘the best known French composer in the world’.
Third was Natalie Dessay singing Perlimpinpin by Barbara.
Last came Verdi’s Va, pensiero – a statement that an attack on France is an attack on European civilisation as a whole.
Amour from Brel, attack from Berlioz, tendresse from Barbara.
France’s three Bs.