– Larochante – MaGMa Trio – A Choeur Ouvert

The month of April has been a month of beautiful concerts.

Larochante from La Roche-en-Ardenne

The 7th of April the choir Larochante, conducted by Bernadeta Artym, celebrated its 40th anniversary. They brought two great works composed by Karl Jenkins. Before the break we listened to the requiem, with a solo for a boy soprano in the “Pie Jesu”. It was funny to see that he sung this from the pulpit, the place from where Marijke Verbeeck would play her flute solo the week after, during our concert. Chapeau, young man, well done! His performance brought back sweet memories of the time that our son Kim was member of the boys choir of the Basilica of Oldenzaal in the Netherlands. After the break it was time for the Adiemus, completing an exceptional concert!

The week after this concert the church was open for our MaGMa Trio Easter Concert. We had put together a very interesting programme with pieces by Bach, Händel, Vivaldi, Pergolesi as well as the  “Je vous salue Marie” composed by our own Gérard Lambert. It was a mixture of sad, happy and modest music, very well received by the enthusiastic audience. They really had forgotten their daily worries en fully enjoyed our music and it was a pleasure to hear that from them! Last week we offered you the video of our opening aria “Eternal Source of Light Divine” by Handel. Today we provide the clip of our last aria of the concert, “Virgam virtutis” by the same composer (click on the link above please).

A Choeur Ouvert from Rendeux

Last night the choir A Choeur Ouvert from Rendeux celebrated its 20th anniversary. Beautiful bouquets of broom were placed at the entrance door as well as inside the church. Garlands were all around and we were offered a nice song accompanying a glass of “bubbly”. It was a real festive occasion and the programme was interesting as well, with before the pause songs performed by Octal Free Songs and after the pause A Choeur Ouvert. It was great fun and it was actually one big reunion, meeting so many people I know, like Father Body and Marie-Claire.

Spring is in the air!

We wish you a wonderful spring week!

Marijke Persijn

– Easter Concert MaGMa Trio in La Roche

Such a beautiful Easter weekend this year, isn’t it? Everyone is enjoying it so much. Yesterday morning Eric and me were hosting a guided tour once again in the Wildlife Park in la Roche and even at 10 o’clock in the morning there was plenty of sunshine, making it all even more enjoyable for both visitors and ourselves.

And now it’s Easter and I can have my fresh orange juice in the sun on the border of “our” river!

Last week the outside circumstances were a lot harsher. It was pleasant for our audience to be indoors in our so beloved Saint Nicolas Church of La Roche while listening to our musical interpretations. Véronique, the sacristan, had prepared everything and had heated the church, a big thank you for this!

Some of our old friends and fans had to let us know that due to other obligations, they couldn’t make it to be present. But we made new friends and from them and our families and interested visitors we received enthusiastic reactions after the concert. That was so nice to hear and it made us very happy. It is good to hear people say that they were touched and that time flew by. That they could really let go of daily thoughts and worries and could let themselves be taken away by the music. That they could feel the emotions of the arias.

Eric has been so kind to edit a video of the aria “Eternal Source of Light Divine” by Handel. With this beautiful work we opened our concert. Some background about it you can read in our blog of 24 February 2019. We hope you’ll enjoy the video!

We, the MaGMa Trio and Eric, wish you a lovely Easter weekend!

Marijke Persijn

– To prepare for a concert

Just two more nights … preparations in their last phase … almost ready …

We have written a number of blogs about the works we are going to bring, so you even can enjoy more what we are going to perform.

In order to facilitate your personal preparation for the concert, might you want to do so, please find below the programme once more, this time with the links to the blogs we have written. We hope it helps.

G.F.HAENDEL (1685-1759)
Eternal Source of Light Divine
Ode pour l’anniversaire de la Reine Anne (1713)

J.S. BACH (1685-1750)
Wie wohl mein Herz / Ich will dir mein Herze
Passion selon Saint Matthieu BWV 244

J.S. BACH (1685-1750)
Erbarme dich, mein Gott
Passion selon Saint Matthieu BWV 244

J.S. BACH (1685-1750)
Allemande
Partita pour flûte solo en la mineur BWV 1013

A. VIVALDI (1678-1743)
Domine Deus 
Gloria RV 589

A. VIVALDI (1678-1743)
Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris
Gloria RV 589

A. VIVALDI (1678-1743)
Cum dederit
Nisi Dominus RV 608

PAUSE

J.S. BACH (1685-1750)
Aria
Suite n° 3 en Ré Majeur BWV 1068

G. LAMBERT (1949)
Je vous salue, Marie
Air pour mezzo-soprano et flûte traversière

G.B. PERGOLESI (1710-1736)
Salve Regina
Ad te clamamus
Eia ergo advocata nostra
Et Jesum benedictum
O Virgo Maria

W. BOYCE (1711-1779)
Voluntary VII
pour orgue ou clavecin

G.F.HAENDEL (1685-1759)
Virgam virtutis
Dixit Dominus HW 232

See you Sunday 14 April 2019 at 16.00 hrs. in the Saint Nicolas church of La Roche-en-Ardenne!

Marijke Persijn

– Programme of the Easter Concert of the MaGMa Trio

Inside the Saint Nicolas Church

Only one more week untill our Easter Concert in the Saint Nicolas church in La Roche-en-Ardenne.

In recent weeks we have written in our blogs about some of the works we are going to perform, now is the time for the entire programme. We hope you will enjoy it as much as we did rehearsing it.

G.F.HANDEL (1685-1759)
Eternal Source of Light Divine
Ode for the anniversary of Queen Anne (1713)

J.S. BACH (1685-1750)
Wie wohl mein Herz / Ich will dir mein Herze
Passion of Saint Matthew BWV 244

J.S. BACH (1685-1750)
Erbarme dich, mein Gott
Passion of Saint Matthew BWV 244

J.S. BACH (1685-1750)
Allemande
Partita for flute in a minor BWV 1013

A. VIVALDI (1678-1743)
Domine Deus
Gloria RV 589

A. VIVALDI (1678-1743)
Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris
Gloria RV 589

A. VIVALDI (1678-1743)
Cum dederit
Nisi Dominus RV 608

PAUSE

J.S. BACH (1685-1750)
Aria – “Air”
Suite n° 3 in D Major BWV 1068

G. LAMBERT (1949)
Je vous salue, Marie
Aria for mezzo-soprano and flute

G.B. PERGOLESI (1710-1736)
Salve Regina
Ad te clamamus
Eia ergo advocata nostra
Et Jesum benedictum
O Virgo Maria

W. BOYCE (1711-1779)
Voluntary VII
for organ or harpsicord

G.F.HAENDEL (1685-1759)
Virgam virtutis
Dixit Dominus HW 232

The works will be introduced by Eric van der Horst.

We are looking forward to welcoming you Sunday 14 April 2019 from 15.30 hrs onward.

We will commence our concert at 16.00 hrs.

Have a beautiful week

Marijke Persijn

– Solo for organ by Gérard Lambert

Did you write down the date for our MaGMa Trio Easter concert in your agenda or on your calendar?

Just click …

You are more than welcome on Sunday 14 April in the Saint Nicolas church in La Roche!

In previous blogs you’ve been able to read already quite some information about the works we are presenting that day. We bring arias by Bach (1685-1750), Händel (1685-1759), Vivaldi (1678-1741) and Pergolesi (1710-1736), all written for or in an arrangement for voice, flute and organ.

We will also perform music for duos: Arias by Bach for flute and organ and a composition by Gérard Lambert for mezzo-soprano and flute.

Gérard playing the organ
of the Saint Nicolas church,
La Roche-en-Ardenne

And of course solo pieces as well for both organ and flute. I already elaborated on the Allemande by Bach, to be played by Marijke Verbeeck. Today I’d like to write about the organ piece Voluntary VII by the English composer William Boyce, which Gérard will play as his solo piece during our concert.

William Boyce (1711-1779) wrote “10 Voluntaries for the Organ”. From these works Gérard has chosen number 7, composed of two parts:

  1. Not fast (17 measures)
  2. Fuge (41 measures)

The Voluntary VII was written in d-minor, probably in the year 1779.

In music a voluntary is a piece of music, usually for an organ, that is played as part of a church service. In English-speaking countries, the music played before and after the service is often called a ‘voluntary’, whether or not it is titled so.

W. Boyce

The title ‘voluntary’ was often used by English composers during the late Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods. Originally, the term was used for a piece of organ music that was free in style, and was meant to sound improvised (the word voluntary in general means “proceeding from the will or from one’s own choice or consent”). This probably grew out of the practice of church organists improvising after a service.

Later, the voluntary began to develop into a more definite form, though it has never been strictly defined. During the late 17th century, a ‘voluntary’ was typically written in a fugal or imitative style, often with different sections. In the 18th century the form typically began with a slow movement and then a fugue.

We are looking forward to welcoming you on Suday 14 April at 16.00 hrs!

Enjoy the week

Marijke Persijn

– Aria Virgam Virtutis by Händel

Last weekend I participated as additional choir member during three concerts featuring Fables by Jean de La Fontaine. Marco Kalkman had put Dutch translations of them to music. This is the reason I only wrote this blog this morning, sorry for this.

G.F. Händel
by Denner

I’d like to elaborate a bit on our final aria in our concert on the 14th of April, the “Virgam Virtutis”.I adore singing fast notes and this aria is full of them. In this case not written for flute but deliberately for voice. Originally this piece is sung in a lower key, being written for counter tenor. Gérard has arranged the work for our Trio.

This aria is a part of the “Dixit Dominus”. Dixit Dominus is a psalm setting by George Frideric Handel (catalogued as HWV 232). It uses the Latin text of Psalm 110 (Vulgate 109), which begins with the words Dixit Dominus (“The Lord Said”). The work was completed in April 1707 while Handel was living in Italy. It is Handel’s earliest surviving autograph. The work was written in the baroque style and is scored for five vocal soloists (SSATB), five-part chorus, strings and continuo. It is most likely that the work was first performed on 16 July 1707 in the Church of Santa Maria in Montesanto, under the patronage of the Colonna family. The score was published in 1867. A typical performance lasts a little over 30 minutes (thanks to Wikipedia).

The (biblical) texts are not always easily accessible, judge for yourselves:

Impressive!

Virgam virtutis tuae emittet Dominus ex  Sion:
dominare in medio inimicorum tuorum.

The Lord shall send the rod of thy power out of Sion:
be thou ruler, even in the midst among thine enemies.

I am fond of singing arias. Actually there is not much text and it’s repeated a number of times. There is always a lot of movement in them. They appeal to me. This aria brings up feelings of fun. The music makes me think of joyful things, splashing streams or a waterfall. The syncopes make this piece fun and interesting. Sometimes it is better to not let the text distract you too much …

You’re welcome to come and listen to us in the Saint Nicolas church in La Roche on Sunday 14 April at 16.00 hrs. In the video that announces our concert, you get a small impression of what to expect.

Enjoy the week,

Marijke Persijn

– Marijke Verbeeck and the Allemande by Bach

Our Easter concert on 14 April 2019 in the Saint Nicolas church of La Roche-en-Ardenne is coming closer and closer now. The last few weeks we have rehearsed in this church. For Gérard and Marijke “flute” sometimes that is more inconvenient than for me. They are quite often hindered by cold fingers and also the flute is not very fond of low temperatures. For me it is easier: I can wear gloves or hide my hands deep in my pockets.

Marijke Verbeeck

The programme of course contains a solo for Marijke and her flute. This time we invite you to enjoy a dance from the Partita by J.S. Bach (1685-1750), the Allemande. A phenomenal piece outstandingly played. It is shere joy to listen to her interpratation!

.

The enchanting church

In the baroque period a “Suite” or “Suite of danses” was quite precisely defined with pieces arranged by key and it consisted of danses often preceded by a prelude or an ouverture. The four danses would be the allemande, the courante, the sarabande and the gigue. So this time Marijke offers you the Allemande!

Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday 14 April 2019 at 16.00 hrs.!

Marijke Persijn

– Marie Adrien Perk, his son Jacques and La Roche

In last weeks blog I spoke about Jacques Perk. Between then and now, Eric and I have given two guided tours in the Castle of La Roche and also there we tell about father and son Perk and their importance for La Roche and vice versa.

M.A. Perk
1834-1916

Marie Adrien Perk was born in Delft on 23 april 1834 and died on 15 december 1916 in Amsterdam. He was a theologian, writer and pastor of the Walloon church in the Netherlands. In 1857 Perk married Justine Georgette Caroline Clifford Kocq van Breugel (1835-1900). One of their children was poet Jacques, later frontman of the “Movement of the Eighties” in Dutch literature.

To be honest, Eric and I had heard of the German and Norwegian churches but never of the Walloon church. As we found out the Walloon church is a separate group of churches. During father Perks time it was part of the Nederlands Hervormde Kerk. Now it is part of the Dutch Protestant church. French is their language to communicate. Perk was pastor in Dordrecht, Breda and in the end in Amsterdam.

It meant that the Perk family knew very well how to express themselves in French! They loved the Belgian Ardennes and spent their holidays quite often in the little town of La Roche.

M.A. Perk described La Roche in his Dutch travelguide “In de Belgische Ardennen” dating 1882. As token of gratitude for the increase of tourism in the town by enthusistic readers of his travelguide, in 1912 a memorial was erected for Perk: a wooden bench around a huge rock in which some sentences from his touristguide, this time in French though, so visitors can read and understand.

J.F.H. Perk
1859-1881

In 1933 on the backside of the stone a sentence from a letter by his son Jacques was engraved: ‘Ik ijl naar mijn geliefde, de lustige Ourthe, die mij schaterend opvangt.’, roughly translated “I rave to my beloved, the lusty Ourthe, to be caught with a laugh”.

I would have loved to give you one of Jacques poems about La Roche in translation but I’m afraid that my translation of a romantic poem from a Dutch poet of the 19th century would definitely not honour the meaning nor the importance of the work …

However, Jacques works still are a source of inspiration for many!

The MaGMa Trio and painter Daisy Hoste discussing Jacques Perk

Enjoy the week

Marijke Persijn

– Three composers: Lambert, Kalkman and Visser

Marco Kalkman

Every once in a while my phone rings and the question pops up “Are you at home?”. It’s Marco Kalkman, composer, conductor, singer, violonist, harpsicord player and organiser and creator of all sorts of inspiring projects combining music and theatre. I met Marco years ago, when I played and sung in his cildrens opera “The Happy Family”.

With the Dutch composer Peter Visser and his wife Christine, we were Trio Picantolino: voice, violin and piano. Peter and Christine are also friends who visit us on a regular basis.

Jacques Perk (1859-1881)

Last time they were here, Marijke Verbeeck and I rehearsed with Peter four songs he has composed for our MaGMa Trio. Four poems of a 19th century Dutch poet were put to music by Peter. The young Dutch romantic Jacques Perk was a frequent visitor of La Roche, like his father, and here he met Mathilde Thomas, who became his source of inspiration, his “raison d’être”, his Muse as it were. For her he wrote one hundred sonnets and out of these Peter Visser selected four:  “Dorpsvesper” – “Village vesper”, “De Forel”- “The trout”, “De Burcht in Puin”-“Castle in ruins” en “Dorpsdans”-“Village dance”.

Composers meet

After discussions with our Trio and Marco Kalkman where Gérard Lambert met his colleague composer and harpsicord player, we now intend to organise a special concert, featuring these four songs, which should take place here in La Roche, where Jacques met Mathilde.

With painter Daisy Hoste we are exploring her contribution to this event with paintings that match well with the musical atmosphere.

Painting by Daisy Hoste

We will definitely be back to you when more becomes clear!

Enjoy the week,

Marijke Persijn

– Eternal Source of Light Divine by Händel

G.F. Händel

During our Easter concert on Sunday 14 April in the Saint Nicolas church in La Roche-en-Ardenne, we will start with the aria “Eternal Source of Light Divine” from the “Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne” (HWV 74) by Georg Friedrich Händel.

I listened to a number of performances of this aria and I really love this beautiful, almost soothing piece. For me it evokes peaceful feelings, which I do not necessarily link to a souvereign on a throne.

When Googling, I find nevertheless the following:

Queen Anne,
probably around the time of her birthday in 1713

It is not by coincidence that the first part of this ode refers to both the souvereign as to the eternal source of light, shining peacefully on the Kingdom.

The cantata celebrates Queen Anne’s birthday, as well as the accomplishment of the Treaty of Utrecht (negotiated by the Tory ministry of Anne in 1712) to end the War of the Spanish Succession. I think it is a great achievement of Händel to appeal to these feelings of peace in this work. He composed this aria in 1712, having just started to live and work at the British Court.

The libretto was written by Ambrose Philips and the first line, “Eternal source of light divine”, provides an alternative title for the work.
It is scored for 3 solo voices, choir and chamber orchestra. The text is to be sung by the soloists, while the refrain is sung by the four-part choir.

Each of the seven stanzas of the ode concludes with the following words sung by the chorus:

The day that gave great Anna birth,
Who fix’d a lasting peace on Earth.

Queen Anne Stuart (1665-1714)
Souvereign 1702-1714

You can hear our version for organ, voice and flute on 14 April 2019. The concert starts at 16.00 hrs. Just for you to know … Händel died on the 14th of April … in 1759 …

Enjoy the week!

Marijke Persijn