Maria Juliana: The Four Seasons (1776)

In 1776, a notable series of musical activities took place in the Elisabethan convent in Prague. These activities were initiated by one occasion: the 50th anniversary of Maria Deodata, the convent’s mother superior. Maria Deodata apparently had a very positive relationship to music, considering that under her direction, both convent organs were funded and built, and the large number of music compositions dedicated to her. On November 24 1776, a musical “Operetto” was performed in honor of the mother superior, most probably written by Maria Juliana (1719-c.1800), the convent’s “Chor-Regentin”. 

Morte i begli occhi

In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, a wave of new music attested to the increasing opportunities and autonomy available to talented female musicians, writers, artists, and composers in the secular world. This programme focuses on the genius and achievements of four remarkable composers– Francesca Caccini, Settimia Caccini, Leonora Orsina, and Barbara Strozzi—within the context of some of their contemporaries. One crucial feature of poetic and musical dialogue stemming from the Middle Ages and before is a focus on eyes and seeing, in connection with love. The “eye darts” occurring in medieval romances become an even more paramount theme after poets such as Dante, Cavalcanti, and Petrarch make their inaccessible loves immortal in verse. This theme is found in many texts in this programme, inspiring potent questions regarding the nature of sight and appearance, agency and passivity, in varied and changing ways. ‘Morte i begli occhi,’– ‘Death in beautiful […]

Le Flambeau du Monde

The contrast between light and shadow is considered a central principal of baroque art. The programme “Le Flambeau du Monde” – “The Torch of the World” will take us to France between the Thirty Years War and time of the glamour of the royal court at the end of the 17th century. Between candleflame and the shadow of a heavy curtain,  the poetry of the time leads us on a reflective journey through contemplation of the world, life and love. Programme for 4-5 players: Canto, 2 violae da gamba, basso continuo. Music: Charles Tessier, Michel Lambert, Marin Marais, Mr de Sainte-Colombe, and others.