– Dutch high-level support for our Perk Project

The adapted poster

On Friday 20 september we received news from the Embassy of The Netherlands to Belgium: “The commission has decided to reward your application for “Dans les pas du poète Perk”!

This was excellent news indeed!

Eric has commited a lot of time and energy in establishing contact with the Embassy and had asked whether they might be interested in our project in the framework of the BAM! festival 2019 here in La Roche-en-Ardenne.

Informally they were quite positive but, understandibly, we had to follow the official route and had to participate in an open call for “cultural ambassadors”. After many weeks of waiting impatiently, now we had the answer: YES, the project had been selected and a representative from the Embassy will be present during the concert on Saturday 5 October in hotel Floréal!


What made us very happy as well was the confirmation of the presence of the elderman for Culture of Dordrecht, where Jacques Perk was born on 10 June 1859. Mister P. Sleeking kindly accepted the invitation to adress the audience, introducing the four “Chants d’Ardenne”. Four poems by Jacques Perk were put to music, as you might know by now, by Peter Visser specifically for our MaGMa Trio.

It is definitely going to be a promising event: the Mayor of La Roche has invited his relations from the governmental and cultural world in the province of Luxemburg and Wallony; The Embassy of the Netherlands to Belgium will be present; the elderman for Culture of Dordrecht will introduce Jacques Perk; Daisy Hoste exceptionally will expose paintings of hers, with new ones, inspired on the four musical poems; Marco Kalkman will accompany the “Chants d’Ardenne” on harpsicord and our Trio will propose one of the Fables by Jean de la Fontaine in two different versions, one of which was composed by Marco and … we as the MaGMa Trio celebrate our first “lustrum”, our five year anniversary.

You’ll understand that the character of the concerts of Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 October will be a bit different. We advise you to make a reservation if you’d like to be present.

As a result of the above, the poster had of course to be adapted to the role of the Dutch Embassy. You see their logo now between the co-partners in the project at the bottom and also the phrase “avec le soutien de l’Ambassade du Royaume des Pays-Bas en Belgique” has been added: ”with support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Belgium”.  

Enjoy the week!

Marijke Persijn

– Jacques, Jacques and Jack

Yesterday I overheard Eric talking through the phone with a certain Jacques and it completely confused me. Of course I know the French poet Jacques Prévert. Last week I found his booklet “Paroles” in a book-exchange cupboard at Bardonwez. During Secundary School, I participated in a declamation contest of the Alliance Francaise with his “Page d’Ecriture” and “Complainte de Vincent”. My mother coached me.

M.A. Perk in front of the monument

And of course I am studying very hard on the “4 Chants d’Ardenne”, composed by Peter Visser on the poems of the Dutch romantic poet Jacques Perk, who was of great importance for La Roche-en-Ardenne. Do you know the monument for Jacques and his father Marie Adrien Perk, pastor of the Walloon church in the Netherlands, which stands on the roadside of the Avenue du Hadja, as can be seen on the picture above.

And of course we know Monsieur Jacques who makes these nice thin chocolate slices for on our sandwiches. Last weekend we were visited by friends from the Netherlands, France and the UK and we gave them each a package and they loved it!

Daisy Hoste

Could there still be another Jacques? Sure, but written as Jack. He is going to repair our terrace, which wasn’t properly done a decade ago and now has to be renewed. Jack is a very kind guy: he allowed me to stick a flyer of our concert of 5 and 6 October on the windscreen of his van and will distribute flyers as well. And, such a coincidence, he lives in the same street as our fellow artist Daisy Hoste, who will expose paintings of hers during our concerts.

Cultural Center of Bavaux

It really helps t know that we get a lot of support of the Dutch living here in Wallonie. Jack distributes flyers. Ren de Vree of the digital newsmagazine “Waals Weekblad” (Walloon Weekly) has made publicity for the workshop “Chant Souriant” – “Sing with a smile” which I am going to give at the Cultural Center of Barvaux from 10 October onward. I will use some poems by Jacques Prévert here as well.

If you are interested to participate in these workshops, you are more than welcome! Of course we will sing, but I will also pay attention to other aspects that relate to the body and the voice: warming up the voice, voice exercises (vocalises), bodywork before singing (a bit of yoga, brain gym), meditation and poems, breathing and posture, personal presentation.

If you’d like to help us distributing flyers for our concerts on 5 and 6 October, please contact one of us. It will be much appreciated.

Enjoy the week

Marijke Persijn

– 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

– 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

– 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.

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.

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

– The Raven and the Fox at the BAM! festival

Jean de la Fontaine (1621-1695) became world famous because of the stories, the fables he wrote. He was inspired by works from the old ages by, for example, Aesop and Horace. He was buried at “Père Lachaise” in Paris.

During our MaGMa Trio concerts on 5 and 6 October 2019 at the BAM! festival in La Roche-en-Ardenne, we will bring the fable “The Raven and the Fox” (“Le Corbeau et le Renard”) in hotel Floréal.

The Raven and the Fox will be brought in the French version and in Dutch. Marietje d’Hane-Scheltema made a beautiful translation from French into Dutch and Marco Kalkman, who will also accompany us at the “Four songs from the Ardennes”, composed music to it.

For a better understanding (and because it is a nice story), I will give you the translation into English of “Le Corbeau et le Renard”. In the Livre d’Or de la Chanson Française (tome 3) I found the music which we will use in the French version, composed by George Van Parys. He lived in Paris from 1902 till 1971. He is mainly known as composer for films, but also wrote operettas, chambre music and music for chansons. He was the one who composed the music for “Les Misérables”.

The Raven and the Fox

Mr. Raven was perched upon a limb,
And Reynard the Fox looked up at him;
For the Raven held in his great big beak
A morsel the Fox would go far to seek.
Said the Fox, in admiring tones:
“My word! Sir Raven, you are a handsome bird.
Such feathers! If you would only sing,
The birds of these woods would call you King.”
The Raven, who did not see the joke,
Forgot that his voice was just a croak.
He opened his beak, in his foolish pride—
And down fell the morsel the Fox had spied.
“Ha-ha!” said the Fox. “And now you see
You should not listen to flattery.
Vanity, Sir is a horrid vice—
I’m sure the lesson is worth the price.”

Enjoy this 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

– Worldpremiere and Buster Keaton!

Saturday 5 Octobre 2019 at 15h.30 hrs

In Hotel Floréal, Avenue de Villez 6, La Roche-en-Ardenne, the MaGMa Trio assisted by Marco Kalkman on harpsicord, will bring a concert including the worldpremiere of poems of Jacques Perk put to music by Peter Visser. All this will take place in an inspiring environment because of the paintings of Daisy Hoste. Entrance fee 10 Euro.

(We’d like to inform you that the next day, Sunday 6 October, same time same place, the concert will be brought once more).

Saturday 5 October 2019, 20.00 hrs

In the Saint Nicolas church (Grand rue), the mythical silent movie “The General” from 1926 will be shown, featuring Buster Keaton who also directed it. The film will be musically supported by the French organist Michel Richlinsky, who will play the impressive church organ. Entrance fee 8 Euro.

In you’d like to be part of both events that take place on Saturday 5 October (MaGMa Trio ànd Buster Keaton), combination tickets are available at 14 Euro only. You can make your reservation by mail at info@festivalbam.be or text message to +32 (0)495 18 37 38.

If you prefer visiting one of the two “MaGMa et Amices” concerts, you can also order your tickets through the MaGMa Trio website.

Have a nice week,

Marijke Persijn

– Clavichord for MaGMa Trio

The clavichord

Our newborn music-baby: a CLAVICHORD.

Gérard used to play such an instrument and looks forward to playing it again.

It probably needs recovery and some repair. And by that I mean not just polishing it …

The interior

A new subject to learn more about. And that means ordering books, reading books I already have once again and trying to find information through Google!

Have a nice, musical week,

Marijke Persijn

– Inspiring holidays

Holidays do well! We had the experience once more. Just letting go of everything. Almost no screens, because WiFi was mostly not available. But beautiful flowers, lakes, mountains and forests and lovely little towns with half-timbered houses all around!


Gérard visited Salzburg for the Gala-concert with his other singer. They still are “in heaven”. They have been able to hear and see the worlds greatest singers!

Eric and me arrived in Bad Schussenried, after crossing the Black Forest. Here we were had a guided tour in the impressive Convent and its Library. This really filled our baroque loving hearts.

Bad Schussenried

Then, after visiting the Bodensee and the magnificent flower island Mainau and passing Salzburg, we arrived at Sankt Gilgen, on the shores of the Wolfgangsee. Here you can visit, amongst others, the Mozart Haus.

Sankt Gilgen

And there was the Zwölferhorn, a mountain with WiFi and a rocking chair, on which I could medidate, looking out over the mountain landscape. How spoilt can you get?

Marijke and her family recharged briefly in France, where they celebrated “14 juillet“.

Just another road side in Freudenstadt.

We have started our repititions again. In the company of a young audience sometimes, because of the summer holidays. And they raise interesting questions …

Have a nice week,

Marijke Persijn