On May 26 The Marais Project celebrates our 20th Anniversary with a joint concert with Elysian Fields, my electric viola da gamba ensemble. We also welcome Swedish gambist, Leif Henrikson to Australia and to The Marais Project. The program is below.

Jenny Eriksson with her electric and acoustic viola da gamba

First Half – The Marais Project’s 20th Anniversary concert

Michel Pignolet de Montéclair (1667 – 1737)La Retour de la Paix – (Premier Livre, Paris 1709)

Cantata for soprano, two violins and continuo (Transcribed for two viola da gambas by Jennifer Eriksson)

  • Récitatif (vivement)
  • Air (tendrement)
  • Récitatif (légèrement)
  • Récitatif & Air (lent et détaché)
  • Récitatif (léger et doux)
  • Récitatif
  • Air de trompètes et de musètes (gai)

Marin Marais (1656-1728) – Suite in G major for two viola da gambas and continuo (1er Livre – Paris 1686)

  • Prélude
  • Allemande
  • Courante
  • Sarabande
  • Gavotte en rondeau
  • Menuet

Traditional Swedish Folk Song – Om sommaren sköna (In beautiful summer) Arr. By Tommie Andersson

Second Half – Elysian Fields, The Scandinavian Project

Today’s music is drawn from Elysian Field’s Scandinavian Project which premiered at Foundry616 in 2018.

  • Cold Soul –  by Matt Keegan
  • Frid På Jord (Peace on Earth) – by Sofia Karlsson. Arr. by Matt McMahon
  • Vi Ska Ställa (Swedish folksong) Arr. by Susie Bishop
  • The Garden Party – by Jenny Eriksson inspired by Marais’ Feste Champêtre
  • The Tragedy/The Journey – by Siebe Pogson

Deceased composers

Montéclair’s career was over shadowed by the reputation of his two brilliant predecessors, Lully and Rameau, but his music is lyrical and shows a high degree of compositional skill. “Le Retour da le Paix” (Return to Peace) is charming, refined and gives voice to a range of passions from the sweetest and most tender to the most violent. We recorded it on our first CD, “Viol Dreaming”.

Marin Marais gave his name to The Marais Project and is still considered one of the superstars of the viola da gamba.  Marais worked at the court of Louis XIV in France as both an instrumentalist and  composer.  He published 5 books of music for the viola da gamba during his lifetime. The suites for two viola da gambas, accompanied by theorbo – Marais’ preferred continuo instrument – were included at the end of his first book.

Om sommaren sköna – was originally released on our Smörgåsbord! CD in an arrangement by Tommie Andersson for tenor, violin, theorbo, baroque flute and viola da gamba. Tommie has re-arranged it for today’s performance. The words were written by Anders Eriksson Wallenius, who was a vicar in the province of Dalarna, north west of Stockholm, from 1660–63. The melody is a traditional folk tune first notated in 1757.

Living composers

Matt KeeganCold Soul is about the majesty and spiritual quality of some of the Scandinavian landscapes which Matt experienced when he lived and studied in Sweden for a year. He writes: “There is something magical and beautiful about the scenery in the wintertime.” The piece is one of two works Jenny commissioned Matt to write for The Scandinavian Project.

Matt McMahon – Matt has written several pieces for the electric viola da gamba and Elysian Fields including a major song cycle, What should I say. Today’s arrangement of Frid På Jord was commissioned by Jenny Eriksson for The Scandinavian Project.

Susie Bishop – Susie has visited Sweden several times and has learned Swedish. She arranged Vi Ska Ställa for, a Swedish folk song, for The Scandinavian Project. Susie has also composed a new work for another group she works with, Chaika, which was released on their latest CD, Arrow.

Jenny ErikssonThe Garden Party was inspired by Marin Marais’ Feste Champêtre and was originally composed for Elysian Fields. It has since taken on another life as the title track of the latest Marais Project CD, The Garden Party.

Siebe PogsonThe Tragedy, The Journey and The Destination was largely written in New Orleans as a commission from Jenny Eriksson for The Scandinavian Project. Today we will only perform the first two movements. It has no direct Scandinavian connection except Siebe is 1/8th Swedish!

Tickets –