– Gluck and the death of Euridice

C.W. von Gluck

Stories from ancient Greec mythology have inspired writers and composers through the ages. Amongst them Christopo Willibald von Gluck (1714-1787). He was originally from Bohemia and moved to Prague in 1731 to dedicate his life to music. Not something his father was proud of. Then in 1736 he oves to Milan, following composition lessons with Giovanni Battista Sammartini. In 1741 his first opera was performed, Artaserse. Because this was a great success, many Italian cities wanted him to write for them as well. Even London found him which led to him discovering Händel and his music. After 1746 he was bandmaster of a travelling music opera company. In 1752 he moves again, to Vienna this time, where he was appointed Composer at the Court of Mary Theresa. Here he died in 1787.

Orfeo ed Euridice

Gluck mainly composed operas and was known for creating so called “reform operas”. They were a reaction to the serious Italian operas from those days, the opera seria, in which the storyline was hardly important and the virtuosity of the voices was dominant.

During his time in Vienna, Gluck discovered additional possibilities. For him the ideal situation in art would be achieved when all art forms would be equally contributing to the realization of the dramatic line in the opera. “Orfeo ed Euridice” was an attempt to realise this idea.

In Vienna he was not successful with this kind of opera, but in Paris the appreciation was completely different. Here they already had learned to love the French “tragédie-lyrique”, which resembled the reform opera more or less.

“Che farò senza Euridice” from the opera “Orfeo ed Euridice” probably has become his most renowned and appreciated aria. Today I would like to highlight this piece as it was my mothers favorite. She passed away on the 22nd of August 2019. She got to know this aria through the interpretation by her sister Dora, who had a warm alto voice. Gérard Lambert and myself are very happy that our interpretation of this aria, with its recitative, has become our most viewed and appreciated clip on YouTube!

To honour my mother who would have reached the age of 92 on the 24th of August this year, I’d like to present that video, recorded during our Concert Quattuor on 27 september 2014 in the Sint-Nicolas church of La Roche-en-Ardenne.

I am convinced that this great music will touch your hearts as much as it does ours, both through its music and its words and – as I hope – our interpretation.

ORIGINAL VERSION
Che farò senza Euridice
Dove andrò senza il mio ben.
Euridice, o Dio, risponde
Io son pure il tuo fedele.
Euridice! Ah, non m´avvanza
più socorso, più Speranza
ne dal mondo, ne dal ciel.

VERSION IN ENGLISH
What will I do without Euridice
Where will I go without my beloved one.
Euridice, oh God, answer
I am entirely your loyal one.
Euridice! Ah, it doesn´t give me
any help, any hope
neither from this world, nor from heaven.

Enjoy the 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

– Rehearsing in La Roche

Today our blog is a bit later than usual. We had our first rehearsal for our Easter Concert in the Saint Nicolas church in La Roche, that’s why. It also means that the morning is used for yoga, meditation and doing many exercises to warm up my voice. For Gérard and Marijke “flute” that probably looks a bit different.

We really had to get used to the big space again. The last winter months it was good to be able to rehearse in my music room, but performing in this spacious environment is quite different. And adding to that the beautiful weather caused the beginning of my allergy, as we say “frogs in my throat”.

The church was so beautiful now as the sun was shining through the glass stain windows, making coloured marks on walls, chairs, statues and floor. My favourite statue is that of Mother Mary with little baby Jesus on her arm, close to the organ.

It really is inspiring to make music in this place. Soeur Simone is taking good care of us and the people who entered and remained to listen for a while, were enthusiastic.

Did you mark the date? Sunday 14 April 2019 at 16.00 hrs!

Have a lovely week,

Marijke Persijn

– MaGMa Trio Easter concert: Ich will Dir mein Herze schenken

In last weeks blog we spoke about the aria “Erbarme dich” from the Saint Matthew Passion by J.S.Bach (1685-1750). During our Easter concert in the Saint Nicolas church in La Roche-en-Ardenne on 14 April 2019 at 16.00 hrs, we will also perform the moving recitative “Wiewohl mein Herz in Tränen schwimmt” and the beautiful aria “Ich will dir mein Herze schenken”.
We have chosen to bring it in the original key for the soprano voice, G major. Every key creates its own atmosphere. If played with original instruments, which we have not, it would sound half a tone lower. And if we would use the partition for the mezzo voice in F-major, it would be one whole tone lower and thus not reflect the atmosphere which is intended in this aria, we feel.

Also this time I found some nice programmes in my “basket” and they brought back sweet memories.
In those days Eric and I, together with our children, lived in Hengelo, in the east of the Netherlands near the German border.
There we had the opportunity to enjoy an impressive performance of Saint Matthew Passion in the City Hall in 1986.
Later our son Kim joined the boys choir of the Saint Plechelmus Basilica in Oldenzaal and he had the opportunity to sing in both the Saint Matthew Passion by Bach as the Messiah by Händel. They even made a trip with their choir to Italy and it all left a great impression!

Ich will Dir mein Herze schenken
Before I present the text of the recitative and the aria, I’d also like to give you the “introduction”, to better be able to understand their context.

Evangelist
He answered thus and said:
Jesus
He who his hand with me in the dish now dippeth, this one will
betray me. The Son of man indeed goeth hence, as it hath been
written of him; but woe to that man through whom the Son of man
hath been betrayed! It were better for him if this very man had never
been born.
Evangelist
Then answered Judas, who betrayed him, and said:
Judas
Is it I, Rabbi?
Evangelist
He said to him:
Jesus
Thou sayest.
Evangelist
But when they ate, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and
brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Jesus
Take, eat, this is my Body.
Evangelist
And he took the cup and, giving thanks, he gave it to them, saying:
Jesus
Drink, all of you, from this; this is my blood of the New Testament,
which hath been poured out here for many in remission of their sin
I say to you: I shall from this moment forth no more drink from this
the fruit of the grapevine until the day when I shall drink it anew
with you within my Father’s kingdom.

Recitative – Soprano
Wiewohl mein Herz in Tränen schwimmt,
Although my heart swims in tears
Das Jesus von mir Abschied nimmt,
Because Jesus takes leave of us,
So macht mich doch sein Testament erfreut:
Yet his testament makes me glad.
Sein Fleisch und Blut, o Kostbarkeit,
His flesh and blood, o preciousness,
Vermacht er mir in meine Hände.
He bequeaths into my hands.
Wie er es auf der Welt mit denen Seinen
As he, in the world, with his own
Nicht böse können meinen,
Could not think evil,
So liebt er sie bis an das Ende.
So he still loves them to the end.

Aria – Soprano
Ich will dir mein Herze schenken,
Senke dich, mein Heil, hinein!
Ich will mich in dir versenken;

I will give my heart to thee;
Sink thyself in it, my Salvation.
I will submerge myself in thee.
Ist dir gleich die Welt zu klein,
Ei, so sollst du mir allein
Mehr als Welt und Himmel sein.

And if the world is too small for thee,
Ah, then for me alone shalt thou
Be more than world and heaven.

Enjoy the week,
Marijke Persijn

– Singer Cobi de Bruijn and organist Edwin Hinfelaar

Cobi de Bruijn / Edwin Hinfelaar

A very big “merci” / thank you to Sister Simone and Gérard Lambert! They made it possible for Cobi de Bruijn (soprano), Edwin Hinfelaar (organist) and myself (Marijke Persijn, mezzosoprano) to make music together in the Saint Nicolas Church in La Roche-en-Ardenne on Saturday 5 January 2019. The nativity scene and the christmas tree were still present, thus contributing to the festive atmosphere. The visitors who entered the church to light a candle were lucky and many remained sitting and listening for a while.

Gérard Lambert / Edwin Hinfelaar

We had assembled a beautiful programme in preparation of this occasion: Vivaldi/ Laudamus te; Purcell/ My dearest, my fairest; Schütz/ Ihr Heiligen, lobsinget dem Herren; Mozart/ Briefduet; Mendelssohn/ Ich wollt, meine Lieb ergösse sich; and a duet by Mendelssohn from “Lobgesang”, which was completely new for me. “Ich harrete des Herrn” gave me goose bumps. At the end Cobi, accompanied by Edwin, sang their favourite “La Procession” by C. Franck

How I would love to give a concert together, combining the qualities of our MaGMa Trio and theirs! This would absolutely be worth while and not to be missed! Also in combination with a choir, it undoutebly would result in an extraordinary experience for audience as well as musicians.

Cobi and I have known eachother now for about twenty years. During her final exams at the Tilburg Conservatory, I sang duets with her. And we performed in those days our favourite “Flower Duet” from the opera Lakmé by Delibes at the opening of an exhibition of artist and friend Jacomijn van Duin. We repeated this at the 25th wedding anniversary of Eric and myself. We lost track of eachother, but Facebook kept some strings alive. When our friend Jackie (Jacomijn) died last October 7th, we renewed our friendship.

After the rehearsal, the three of us lit some candles for Jackie, our children and grandcildren and for The Music.

Cobi and Edwin are young, passionate and talented musicians, who regrettably live too far away to have regular musical encounters: north of Amsterdam is a bit far. Our enormous love for music and our great friendship nevertheless will guarantee that we will make our concert dreams come true, I’m convinced of that!

Have a lovely week
fille with music!


Marijke Persijn