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Tracks and Trails

Montségur, Occitain

It’s a stiff climb to the ruined castle where the Cathars held out for nearly two years against French royalist (Catholic) forces. The countryside is peaceful today in these lovely

Pyrenean foothills - but in that field down there more than two hundred

Cathars were burned in the year 1244. The village of Montségur lies nearby.

It is cold up here, the air sharp early in the day. We search for somewhere

to have breakfast. The streets of Montségur are narrow, and we abandon

the car and walk tight lanes and stretch our arms and

touch both walls at once. Music is

coming from the door of a small,

arts café. Beautiful string music. 

Didier Tremoliéres is inside.

“Café? Vous voulez du café?”










The music is fresh and clean; music of the mountains. It fills the room with the clarity of frankincense. Didier brings croissants, and coffee in earthenware bowls. Outside the window, rooftops cascade down the hillside towards a forest of mountain peaks.


“What is that music you’re playing?”


“This? It is music from Jean Musy—'Pensez-vous solitaire avec la musique.”'


I have never heard it since . . . but I have heard Jean Musy’s extraordinary ‘Exaudi Nos’.