Candlelight Concert

My Saturday night was a peaceful one filled with classical music in an iconic setting.

St. Martin-in-the-Fields is a beautiful church located in the heart of Trafalgar Square.  There has been a church on the site since the medieval period, though the present building was constructed in 1722.  Because of its prominent position, St. Martin-in-the-Fields is one of the most famous churches in London.  It is known for providing a haven to the homeless and for offering classical music free of charge mid-day and by candlelight in the evenings.

church

The Saturday evening program I attended featured Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and choral Gloria.  It was such a beautiful setting for this music that literally swelled into the space  transforming the nave into a concert hall.

concert

The famed East Window provided a striking backdrop for the performers.  This window was once traditional stained glass but was shattered by bombs during World War II.  An female Iranian artist, Shirazeh Houshiary, was commissioned to create something modern and arresting.  The result is a design that unexpectedly warps a large church window into a visually intriguing abstraction. Reminiscent of a cross, the horizontal and vertical lines move towards a central opening that allows light to pass through and radiate within the church.

window

Stepping out after the concert, I was surrounded by icons of London: The church spire piercing the evening sky behind me, the venerable National Gallery spread out before me, and the imposing vertical monument to Lord Nelson looming above me.

It was an iconic evening in every way.

 

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