Bruno Courréges seldom felt happier about the community he served as chief of police than when standing at the rear of the ancient stone church of St. Denis, listening to rehearsels of the town choir. Unlike the formal ceremonies at Mass when the singers dressed in neat white surplices, the choir practiced in their normal dress, usually gathering immediately after work. But Father Sentout's daring decision that the choir should reach beyond its usual repertoire to attempt Bach's St. Matthew's Passion had required some additional rehearsels early in the morning. Farmers stood alongside schoolteachers and accountants, waitresses and shopkeepers. These were people Bruno knew, wearing clothes he recognized, and usually singing hymns that were familiar, perhaps the only memory of his church orphanage that still gave him pleasure.
This is 6th in the series of Bruno Courrèges, Germandier of St. Denis in the Dordogne department, southwestern France, which corresponds to the ancient county of Périgueux.
This entry in the series is my new favorite, although I've fully enjoyed them all--learning much about the history of the region and of France, the people and culture of the Pèrigueux, and the foods and produce that underwrites the economy and way of life.
Don't miss the unbelievable roast chicken recipe on pgs. 226-229.