– My mother taught me to love poetry

On 22 August 2019 my mother passed away. Two days before her 92nd birthday. She was part of our lives for a very long time, especially for me, being the eldest of her children.

In memoriam Franske Persijn – Jorritsma

She taught me to love litterature and poems alike. She was my personal coach and following her advise I won prices at declamation competitions. Even with two poems by Jacques Prévert, in French.

Our childhood was filled with the stories by the Dutch writer Annie M.G. Schmidt with her splendid sense of humour. But my mother appreciated other poets just as much. In her cupboard I found anthologies of poetry, even in the Frisian language and South-African.

Until her last days she was member of a small group which shared poems and read them to eachother. At the very end, they visited her at her place, because she couldn’t go out anymore.

F. Persijn – Jorritsma
1927 – 2019

During the week preceding her passing, Eric and I visited her every day. She was very clear of mind, gentile and had an interest in us, our children and grand children. I read verses for hear and parts of entries in my “Poetry Album”, like the poem she wrote on the 4th of March 1964. This poem finds its base in the Bible, the first lettre to the Corinthians, verse 13. During my reading she looked at me intensely. Afterward she recited this poem “How great love is” by Harriet Laurey all by heart!

Eric composed a videoclip for the ceremony last Friday, 31 August. He edited photos of my mother and our family into the already existing video in which our MaGMa Trio performs “Eternal Source of Light Divine” by G.F. Handel. I’d like to ask your special attention for the photos where I read to her from the “Poetry Album” and the blue Bible.

During the ceremony I sang part of “Swing low sweet chariot”, a song that ran through my mind during the night she passed … I sang it every day since.

The picture of flowers she appreciated so much

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

– 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