Musical Delicacies

— Early Music Concert Series —

Le Jardin des Plaisirs

In the Garden of Pleasure, an intimate drama unfolds before the audience, the story of a forbidden love between an English lady and a French knight.

Saturday 6 June 2015 18:00 — Kunín château, Kunín 1, 742 53 Kunín, Czech Republic.

Plaisirs de Musique (CZ):

The concert is under the auspices of Countess Anita Podstatzky-Lichtenstein, née de Lorgeril.


Joseph Chabanceau de la Barre (1633 – 1678)Si c’est un bien que l’espérance   (Airs à deux parties, avec les seconds couplets en diminution, Paris, 1669)
(Rondeau sur le mouvement de la Chacone)
Henry VIII (1491 – 1547)My Mistress and my friend   (from a letter to Anne Boleyn)
Henry Purcell (1659 – 1695)
(Text: John Dryden, 1631 – 1700)
Ah! how sweet it is to love   (from the play Tyrannick Love, or the Royal Martyr, Z. 613/2)
Pierre Corneille (1606 – 1684)Mon cher fils   (from the play Le Cid, act 1, scene 5)
Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643 – 1704)
(Text: Pierre Corneille, 1606 – 1684)
Percé jusques au fond du coeur   (Airs sur les stances du Cid, H. 457)
Père, maîtresse, honneur, amour   (ibid., H. 458)
Que je sens de rudes combats   (ibid., H. 459)
Pierre Corneille (1606 – 1684)Mon cœur outré d’ennuis   (from the play Le Cid, act 1, scene 3)
John Eccles (1668 – 1735)I burn, my brain consumes to ashes
John Dowland (1562 – 1626)Flow my teares   (The Second Booke of Songs or Ayres, London, 1600)
Henry Purcell (1659 – 1695)
(Text: Thomas Shadwell, c. 1642 – 1692)
Dear pretty youth   (from the play The Tempest or The Enchanted Island, Z. 631)
William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand   (from the play Romeo and Juliet, act 1, scene 5)
Henry Purcell (1659 – 1695)Now the maids and the men   (from the play Fairy Queen, Z. 629/22)
(Dialogue between Coridon and Mopsa)
Henry Purcell (1659 – 1695)
(Text: Abraham Cowley, 1618 – 1667)
She loves, and she confesses too   (from the play The Mistress, Z. 413)
(a song upon a ground)
John Eccless (1668 – 1735)
(Text: William Congreve, 1670 – 1729)
O Ecstasy of Happiness!   (from the opera Semele)
Henry Lawes (1595 – 1662)A Dialogue on a Kiss   (The treasury of musick, 1669)

►►►  Song texts.

About the programme

Two separated lovers, the French Chevalier de Tourville and his beloved Lady Lavinia Hawthorn from England, are tormented by ubiquitous war and their family duties. For several years they communicate with each other through letters, their love still burning so strongly that it becomes an eyesore for the father of the young count. His parents’ wishes and his impending military duty force the young count to resign his affections and never see his beloved again. The beautiful and cunning Lady Lavinia does not resolve to this fate and makes the decision to travel to France alone. Her arrival is accompanied by the amourous song of the nightingale, and after spending a few days in his castle, she finds her lover asleep in the garden. Will love triumph over duty? Will their families agree to their union? Will the kiss they have longed for so much in secret ever come?

Musically the programme is a free choice of the most suitable songs and texts from the pens of English and French authors of the late 17th and early 18th centuries (the story is set in 1697). Occasional deviations (such as Flow my teares from 1600) are inspired only by the desire to enrich the programme with the most appropriate emotion.

Plaisirs de Musique

Plaisirs de Musique is an ensemble that specializes in authentic performance of music from older periods on period instruments. Under the artistic direction of Jan Čižmář it interprets music from the 15th to the 19th century. Its members are leading European professional musicians specializing in early music. Projects which the ensemble performs are partly purely musical, but they also include cooperation on realisations of opera, recitals with singers, actors and dancers.

Laila Cathleen Neuman

Laila Cathleen Neuman started her studies in the Netherlands with Christa Pfeiler and Susanna Waleson, before studying with Margaret Hayward at the G. Verdi conservatory in Milan, where she completed her bachelors cum laude. After this she studied with Breda Zakotnik and Barbara Bonney at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, where she obtained her master’s degree in Lied and Oratorio with honors. She participated in masterclasses with Dalton Baldwin, Max van Egmond, Johannette Zomer, Trevor Pinnock, and Angelika Kirschlager.

She has taken a special interest in baroque music, baroque dance and the art of historic gesture, for which she has been working with Margit Legler en Reinhold Kubik. She sang her debut as Second woman in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and sang the leading role in Il Parnaso Confuso by Gluck, in Salzburg, Vienna, Aarhus and Kopenhagen. Recent international activities include collaboration with Ensemble Esprit, Ensemble La Silva, Het Philadelphus Ensemble (members of the Concertgebouw Orchestra), Convivio d’Arte and with Jan Čižmář (theorbo and lute) in the Netherlands, Austria, Germany and Italy.

In 2014, Laila taught historical gesture at Sastamala Gregoriana summer course (FI). In 2015, she will be teaching singing and historical gesture at the Summer course on the interpretation of Early Music in Kunín, and performing the role of Agrippina in the project Three Women, Three Fates (a scenic rendition of cantatas by Georg Friedrich Händel) and the title role in Domenico Sarri’s opera Didone Abbandonata.

Foto: Jean-Sébastien Beauvais

Jean-Sébastien Beauvais

Jean-Sébastien Beauvais started singing as a boy soprano in the Childrens’ Choir of the Cathedral of Monaco. He is a graduate from the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles and holds a Masters in Classical Singing from Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Valerie Guillorit and Claron Mac Fadden, and from the Dutch National Opera Academy, directed by Alexander Oliver.

Singer, organist and conductor, his vocal repertoire extends from Baroque oratorio and opera to Contemporary music. He performs in prestigious venues such as Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Theatre des Champs Elysée (Paris), Toulouse les Orgues (France), Utrecht’s Early Music festival (The Netherlands). He is frequently invited to perform as a guest soloist with international ensembles and orchestras including the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra (Aapo Häkkinen), The Netherlands Bach Society (Jos van Veldhoven), Opera Fuoco (David Stern), Currende (Paul van Nevel), Le Concert Spirituel (Hervé Niquet), le Poême Harmonique (Vincent Dumestre) and Esmera Duo with the Latvian organist Una Cintina specialized in New Music.

He is conductor of the Uranie Chamber Ensemble – La chambre d’Uranie specialized in French and German early music repertoire, and music director of the London-based company Opera in Space.

Foto: Jan Čižmář

Jan Čižmář

Jan Čižmář is a versatile performer focusing on historical plucked instruments. He performs regularly in Europe, Asia and the USA with ensembles such as Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Capella Cracoviensis, and under conductors such as Frans Brüggen, Christopher Hogwood, Giovanni Antonini, Yannick Nézet–Séguin and Christina Pluhar. He appears also as soloist with of baroque and renaissance repertoire.

After graduation in guitar and musicology in his native Brno he studied at the Royal College of Music in London, where he began playing the lute in the class of Jakob Lindberg. He continued his studies at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague with the teachers Nigel North, Joachim Held, Mike Fentross and Christina Pluhar.

He was the founder and editor of the Czech guitar magazine Kytara and contributes regularly to other musical periodicals. He is also intensely involved with publishing and research activities in the field of early music.

Jan Čižmář taught lute and related instruments at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice in Poland; currently he is teaching at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno and at the Academy of Ancient Music at Masaryk University in Brno. He regularly gives courses and masterclasses in Europe and overseas.

Thank you

The concert takes place with financial support from the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.

We thank Pavla Váňová for the poetic translations of the texts.

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