– Improvising a song at Saint Thibaut

The improvisation

Saturday 7 september the little chapel of Saint Thibaut was open to the public because of the Day of Cultural Heritage. That was the reason for our friends and dogs to visit it. The old priest proposed me to sing something and I did improvise on a text he gave me. I really love the place and the chapel. I had the pleasure to sing here several times being accompanied by Véronique Dupont, Peter Visser, our trio MaGMa and all alone. Please have a look at the videos my husband Eric van der Horst has made about these musical moments at the hermitage.

Saint Thibaut 2014

I started performing at Saint Thibaut in 2013. This year however our MaGMa Trio (Marijke Persijn – mezzozoprano, Marijke Verbeeck – flute and Gérard Lambert – harpsicord) will take part in the BAM! festival here in La Roche-en-Ardenne. We will bring opera arias and cantatas by Bach, Handel, Lully, Pergolesi and Rameau. And,as a special, we will perform the fable “Le Corbeau et le Renard / “The Raven and the Fox” by Jean de la Fontaine in two versions. The first, in French, with music composed by Georges van Parys (composer of the music for “Les Misérables”). The second, in Dutch, with music composed by Marco Kalkman who will also assist us playing the harpsicord. And we will bring the old song “Plaisir d’amour” by Martini which you all know and love so much.

At the very end of this concert, we will bring “Quatre Chansons d’Ardenne”, four poems by the Dutch romantic poet Jacques Perk, put to music for our Trio by Peter Visser. For these pieces Marco Kalkman will play Gérards harpsicord.

And it is a great pleasure to announce that the painter Daisy Hoste will join us to show, amongst others, four new paintings she made, inspired by the poems of Jacques Perk!

Enjoy the week

Marijke Persijn

– Daisy Hoste, painter from Enneille/Durbuy

Next concert of the MaGMa Trio, will be an exceptional event. Marijke Persijn, mezzosoprano, Marijke Verbeeck, flute and Gérard Lambert, harpsicord, assisted by Marco Kalkman on harpsicord, will bring a worldpremiere of poems by Jacques Perk, set to music by Peter Visser.

This concert will take place on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 October 2019 during the BAM! festival in La Roche-en-Ardenne. “Passion” is the theme of this years festival and it is the red thread returning in all different artforms present. And that’s exactely the reason why the misicians have sought assistance from Daisy Hoste, painter from Enneille/Durbuy. Luckily she accepted the invitation to participate. Her works will definitely contribute to a welcoming atmosphere in the room of hotel Floréal, where the concert will be.

“It is not the beauty of a work of art that provokes our admiration, it is our admiration that makes it beautiful.”, an expression from Pabl Picasso, quoted on Daisys site. She sees her atelier as a laboratory, a place of quest. The painter has a very specific view on reality and expresses this through her/his creative and very personal work, being a process of reflexion and observation at the same time.

Daisys works expresses her evolution in art, her versatility and her ability to involve different forms of art. During a number of concerts of the MaGMa Trio, Daisy exposed her works in order to contribute to an experience beyond music.

Although Daisy no longer provides expositions, she agreed to contribute to this project “between alienation and creation” in combination with the poems that were set to music.

For more information about Daisy Hoste and her work, please visit https://daisyhoste.weebly.com/ or http://www.daisyhoste.net/

Don’t forget to order your tickets through this site!

Enjoy the week, Marijke Persijn

– Reservations

Please don’t forget to make your reservations for the world premiere of “Chants d’Ardenne” in time! You can be part of this event in which poems by Jacques Perk will be performed, put to music by Peter Visser.

On Saterday 5 and Sunday 6 October 2019 at 15.30 hrs, the concert will take place in Hotel Floréal in La Roche en Ardenne.

Reservations can be made through this link.

– Announcement on “Ardenne Culture”

Recently the announcement of our concerts on 5 and 6 october 2019 can also be viewed on the  Facebook page of  “Ardenne Culture”, which collects all news in the fields of art, culture, tourisme, social activities and local development in the Ardennes and displays them in a clear manner.

It’s a great pleasure to annouce a WORLD PREMIERE! Come and meet the poet Jacques Perk on 5 and 6 October in hotel Floréal in La Roche-en-Ardenne with the MaGMa Trio, Daisy Hoste and Marco Kalkman: an event you don’t want to miss!

Poster for the concert on Sunday 6 October

Information and reservations:

For Saturday 5 October 2019 at 15.30 hrs: bam.la.roche.info@gmail.com or through the MaGMa Trio site

For Sunday 6 October 2019 at 15.30 hrs: through the MaGMa Trio site

If you’d like to know more about the Dutch composer Peter Visser, who put the poems of Jacques Perk to music, please visit his site!

Enjoy this week!

Marijke Persijn

– Jacques Perk and the church of La Roche

In last weeks blog I presented the poem “Castle in ruins”- “De Burcht in Puin” by the Dutch poet Jacques Perk. Today I’d like to present “Dorpsvesper”- “Vesper of the village”. Jacques loved La Roche, the old castle and the church!

For me the church of La Roche was my first local love. I remember well that my friend, composer/singer/harpsicord player and organist Marco Kalkman and I hiked above La Roche and descended towards this church. When we entered we were struck by its welcoming beauty and the play of coloured light on the floor and walls, caused by the sun shining through the stained glass windows. “If only we could give a concert in this place, one day …”.

Up to now, I was lucky to sing here on quite a few occasions: with the Quattuor, with harpist Gyde Knebusch, soprano Louisa Heine and organist Gérard Lambert; with the Larochante choir, conducted by Bernadeta Artym; with our MaGMa Trio on multiple occasions; with composer/organist Wouter Schults and with Gérard Lambert during a wedding ceremony.

Marco Kalkman will enforce our MaGMa Trio at the concerts we will gave during the BAM! festival on 5 and 6 october, here in La Roche. Though not in the Saint Nicolas church, the environment will be impressive as well: Hotel Floréal. As you know, within our concert of baroque music – pieces that share “Passion” as their theme, the red string that connects all activities of the festival – we will perform for the very first time the “Four Songs of the Ardennes” by the Dutch composer Peter Visser. Peter selected four poems by Jacques Perk from his Sonnet Circle “An Ideal” and put them to music.  

The church with the onion shaped bell tower as Jacques must have known it and the “hill with trees” to the right of it, the ruins of the castle, not yet excavated.

Dorpsvesper (LXXIV)

Heen is de dag – de nacht nog niet geboren,
En langs de bergen wasemt avond-dauw, –
De vogel laat een laatst geneurie hooren,
In roerlooze aandacht luistert de landouw:

De zwerver daalt, in zielsgepeins verloren,
In ‘t dal en naar ‘t gehucht van wit en grauw;
Daar klinken vrome tonen uit den toren, –
De star der liefde flonkert zilver-blauw:

Het kerkje bracht, wie danken wilden, samen,
En wierook en gezang golft uit de poort,
En op het dankgebed zegt alles: “amen” –

De zwerver schrijdt, in zoet gepeins, weêr voort:
Waar zooveel eens-gezinden samen-kwamen,
Daar sterft de haat, en wordt geen klacht gehoord.

La Roche without church and the Hotel du Nord where Jacques stayed in the days that it was owned by the Meunier brothers

O, how I love the way Jacques Perk paints with words, as does Peter Visser with his music. I hope you cal feel the atmosphere at least, though it is in Dutch, as I don’t dare to translate it, knowing that I would do no honour to the poet.

Saint Nicolas church today

In this blog you see some pictures from the book “Le Pays de La Roche” by Charles Nollomont: the church as Jacques must have seen it, the town without church and last, the church as we know it today.

Don’t forget to order your tickets for the concert of 6 October through “Tickets” in the Menu of this site!

Enjoy the week!

Marijke Persijn

The poster of our concert

– Love and Romance

J.F.M. (Jacques) PERK

Our MaGMa Trio will take part in the BAM! festival 2019.

On Sunday 6 October we will give a concert in hotel Floréal in La Roche-en-Ardenne. We composed a lovely programme of baroque music around the theme “Passion”, the central theme of the festival, but we’ll also bring pieces of Dutch composers.

Peter Visser composed “Four Songs of the Ardens” using poems of Jacques Perk, who was of great importance to La Roche as was his father Marie Ardrien Perk . Please have a look at the Blogs “Marie Adrien Perk, his son Jacques and La Roche” and “Three composers: Lambert, Kalkman and Visser”.

Eric did a lot of research and me myself, I try to feel and understand these four poems and to learn them by heart. Jacques Perk was a very romantic youngster who really could be submerged, drowning almost in love. He transformed Mathilde, whom he met here in La Roche, into his Muse. Inspired by her, he wrote a cycle of one hundred sonnets, titled “An Ideal”. Featuring Mathilde – of course -, La Roche and nature. Today I present to you the poem “De Burcht in puin”- “Castle in ruins”. I really don’t know how to translate it, I would never be able to express myself properly, honouring the poet. But I’ll try to explain what the poem is about.

The ruins of the Castle of La Roche, seen from the Deister-mountain

De burcht in puin

De purpren scheemring houdt de burcht omvangen,

– De glimvlieg glanst in ‘t mos der muur, en blauwt, –

En met een gloed van liefde op rozewangen,

Schenkt zij den scheidenskus aan ‘t puin, dat grauwt. –

De krekel sjirpt van weelderig verlangen,

En de echo van het puin, die ‘t antwoord bauwt,

Noodt den geliefde met die schrille zangen,

Die aanzweeft op een wiek van rossig goud:

En waar, voor eeuwen, ridderzangen klonken,

Staart nù de star der liefde ‘t zwijgen aan,

En droevig zendt ze uit schemerblauw heur lonken:

En weemoed fluistert zacht door de espenblaên….

De zwerver treurt, in mijmerij verzonken,

Dat het verleden is voorbij-gegaan….

La Roche-en-Ardenne, end 19th – early 20th century

The poem has a very gentil atmosphere. You see the ruins of the castle of La Roche-en-Ardenne, the sun is setting. The light is enchantingly violet. You hear the cricket and it’s song echoed by the ruins. Before, the Knights chanted there. Now you see the Star of Love, completely silent. Nostalgia whispers through the trembling leaves. The wanderer, submerged in his dreams, regrets that the past has passed …

The poster for our concert

Enjoy your 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