Magnificent service at the Hotel des Invalides yesterday featuring French subtlety & Joe Green's hit Va Pensiero
Live, captured through television microphones, compressed for Youtube and otherwise imperfectly recorded nothing could contain or limit the exuberance, esprit de corp and humanity of the French national anthem La Marseillaise - in particular the unaccompanied male voices at 1.30, building to a magnificent all-in call to arms.
You can see excerpts of the whole service here, thanks to reader KM for the tip.
And in a magnificent Up Yours to the vile Mohammaden philosophy that caused the murders, the final piece of music was from an Italian composer Joe Green (Guiseppe Verdi to his mum) and his opera Nabucco.
It follows the plight of the Jews as they are assaulted, conquered and subsequently exiled from their homeland by the Babylonian King Nabucco (in English, Nebuchadnezzar II). The historical events are used as background for a romantic and political plot. The best-known number from the opera is the "Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves", Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate / "Fly, thought, on golden wings", a chorus which is regularly given an encore in many opera houses when performed today.
The Slaves Chorus echoed through the square of the Hotel des Invalides as the crowd left yesterday's ceremony - in much the same way as Verdi described the thoughts of the Jewish slaves.
Go, thoughts, on golden wings;
Go, settle upon the slopes and hills,
where warm and soft and fragrant are
the breezes of our sweet native land!
Greet the banks of the Jordan,
the towers of Zion ...
Oh my country so beautiful and lost!
Or so dear yet unhappy!
Or harp of the prophetic seers,
why do you hang silent from the willows?
Rekindle the memories within our hearts,
tell us about the time that have gone by
Or similar to the fate of Solomon,
give a sound of lament;
or let the Lord inspire a concert
That may give to endure our suffering.
And up yours Mohammed, you, your mates and your barbecues.