Armenian dancing - Quebec accordion
Alain Pennec's "Celtitudes"

Le final du concert
Le trio Pennec-Landry-O'Connor

Three accordionstars from Brittany (Pennec)
Quebec(Landry) and Ireland (O'Connor).

Yesterday an audience of around 4,000 in the amphitheatre enjoyed a beatifully synchronised mix of Breton and Irish music, Scottish dancing, and Quebec choral work, interspersed with creations from accordion player and composer Alain Pennec.

Alain Pennec, closely cropped and ear-ringed, is in his element. A moment before hand, hidden in the violet shadows, the accordion player had been studying the audience in the stalls, and smiled to himself. They were beating time to the song "Mes souliers sont rouges" (my shoes are red) being led by Enterloupe, the Quebec group, which came on after the Vale of Atholl dance group.

Focussing on his accordion, Alain Pennec launches forth into his music, backed-up by light, almost electric, notes from Aurore Breger's harp. Cleverly balancing the hundred or so guest artists for the evening, and the force of bagpipes with delicate Irish flute, this accordion player can work the keys of his instrument to transfigure in a trice a traditional tune into a rock number.

"Ah ! Que c'est triste ! C'est bien malheureux". A change in rythm when the crowd take sup the refrain from singer Roland Brou. The stage is suddenly invaded by Eostiged ar Stangala, champion Breton dancers, and then the swirling scarves of the Armenian dancers from Ararat, which in turn give way to the superlative Irish accordion player, Mairtin O'Connor, to make up a trio with AlainPennec and Stéphane Landry, who plays accordion with Enterloupe.

The moment umfor the wonderful variety of this evening's performance was kept up by fleeting dance interludes, and not a single instant of inactivity. Alain Pennec's being flanked by 15 or so top Breton musicians meant that the concert kept up its colourful musicality from start to finish. Shame that the guests came on again having once disappeared, as this detracted from the surprise element... but the accordions carried the day, gathering up the rythm for themselves and romping ahead...

L'une des danseuses écossaises avec le pipe band Vale of Atholl.

L'ensemble arménien Ararat.

Copyright Technopole Quimper Cornouaille France-Ouest 1999