Last night I went to Alan Stivell's concert at the Glenmor in Carhaix with English friends, one of whom has been following this remarkable musician since the 1970s when she had close contact with Brittany through a pen-pal connection. It was an impressive performance, but almost more impressive than that wondrous talent was the warm emotional devotion of the audience - several thousand people from babies to elderly grand-parents - to a man who has symbolised the revival and evangelisation of Breton culture over the last forty years, by virtue of the transfer of traditional music to the electronic age. He also stands as a quasi-political figure for the devolution of Brittany and French acknowledgement of the Breton entity, including a long overdue recognition of the language.
What I particularly liked was the fact that all his band were young musicians, clearly being nurtured and offered the opportunity to develop as individuals through working with someone of such international stature and vast musical experience. The violinist was sensational - no programmes and no detail on websites, so I can't give his name (and couldn't hear it announced in the thunderous noise of the auditorium).
It was an emotive evening, powerful enough to ensure an almost sleepless night. Wow.