mon 25/01/2021

theartsdesk in Cuenca: Religious Music Week | reviews, news & interviews

theartsdesk in Cuenca: Religious Music Week

theartsdesk in Cuenca: Religious Music Week

Music for the soul, Ku Klux Klan lookalikes and football in Easter Week Festival

Houses perched precariously in the medieval town of CuencaPeter Culshaw

It’s Holy Wednesday in Cuenca, and going round the corner into Cathedral Square I’m surrounded by hordes of guys in multicoloured mufti who look like the Ku Klux Klan, with unnecessarily pointy hoods. Twenty of them are carrying a heavy float with a large statue of Jesus on it. In Cuenca things are fairly austere, compared to other places where there’s a lot of self-whipping, or where, if you have sin on your conscience, you may end up banging nails into your hands, as in Mexico. Still there are alternative amusements – the Copa Del Rey final of Real Madrid v Barcelona is blaring out of bars – and it’s the 50th edition of Cuenca’s Religious Music Festival.

It’s Holy Wednesday in Cuenca, and going round the corner into Cathedral Square I’m surrounded by hordes of guys in multicoloured mufti who look like the Ku Klux Klan, with unnecessarily pointy hoods. Twenty of them are carrying a heavy float with a large statue of Jesus on it. In Cuenca things are fairly austere, compared to other places where there’s a lot of self-whipping, or where, if you have sin on your conscience, you may end up banging nails into your hands, as in Mexico. Still there are alternative amusements – the Copa Del Rey final of Real Madrid v Barcelona is blaring out of bars – and it’s the 50th edition of Cuenca’s Religious Music Festival.

The effect of the popularity of festivals like Cuenca, with its early music emphasis, is to gradually shift the centre of gravity of classical music backwards

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