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50 th Anniversary of La Petite Bande in 2022 !!!

2022 -  FIFTY  YEARS  ANNIVERSARY  of  LA  PETITE  BANDE```
       
       50 years of " La Petite Bande " in 2022 !!!
 
                                  Here Marleen Thiers,
the wife of Sigiswald Kuijken, about the 50 years of "La Petite Bande"
 
In the blessed year of 1972, Sigiswald Kuijken was asked by the famous harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt to assemble a group of young and talented musicians to make a stylistically sound recording of "Le "Bourgeois Gentilhomme" by Lully, for the German record company Harmonia Mundi.
When the record company asked (after the recording) for a "name" for this still experimental and nameless ensemble, it was Gustav Leonhardt who immediately conjured up the name "La Petite Bande" - obviously with a wink! 
At the court in Versailles under Louis XIV, numerous musicians were available, and under the musical rule of the Maître de Musique J.B. Lully, the most skilled among them were part of what was then called "La Petite Bande" - in contrast to "La Grande Bande", where all forces were deployed in large numbers, for the big occasions...
                 Therefore, "La Petite Bande" included the best of the best...


       
       50 years of " La Petite Bande " in 2022 !!!
 
                                  Here Marleen Thiers,
the wife of Sigiswald Kuijken, about the 50 years of "La Petite Bande"
 
In the blessed year of 1972, Sigiswald Kuijken was asked by the famous harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt to assemble a group of young and talented musicians to make a stylistically sound recording of "Le "Bourgeois Gentilhomme" by Lully, for the German record company Harmonia Mundi.
When the record company asked (after the recording) for a "name" for this still experimental and nameless ensemble, it was Gustav Leonhardt who immediately conjured up the name "La Petite Bande" - obviously with a wink! 
At the court in Versailles under Louis XIV, numerous musicians were available, and under the musical rule of the Maître de Musique J.B. Lully, the most skilled among them were part of what was then called "La Petite Bande" - in contrast to "La Grande Bande", where all forces were deployed in large numbers, for the big occasions...
                 Therefore, "La Petite Bande" included the best of the best...
 
Now I won't list everything our orchestra "La Petite Bande" did in those 50 years, but I will express our great love for "La Petite Bande".
We are incredibly grateful for all that has been: wonderful rehearsals, countless concerts, heaps of recordings and tours... Even our total subsidy loss, from beginning 2017, has not been able to  stop us , but it did make us aware of a very great gratitude for all the important subventions La Petite Bande has received during more than 20 years, and which enabled us to realize so many beautiful projects.
But without a subsidy, we had (and still have) to behave differently and make a huge effort to continue working with the orchestra, so that people sometimes ask us: "Why do you still do it? At your age, still continuing to work so hard? Why is that?"
The answer became this, when I once read this Latin maxim:
                                  MUSICA DEO PROXIMA EST
                                       (Music is God near)
The word "God" can of course be interpreted as one wishes, but for both of us it is above all this : that our deepest "inner self" is touched by the music... This makes us want to keep playing as long as we "can", because that is our true happiness... 
A elderly French painter (Arcabas, he was 90 at the time) once told us at a dinner : "Un artiste, il doit travailler jusqu' à la mort !" ("An artist, he must work until death!") and that really sounded like music to our ears at the time.
And so I read also that the great painter Michelangelo would have written the following to his friend Fattucci (in the year 1547) :
"You will say that I am old and crazy, but I tell you that there is nothing better to stay sane and even passionate than this craziness! "
So for us, too, that will probably be the reason why Sigiswald and I absolutely want to keep on playing and working - the folly, that is ! - and why we now also want to celebrate these 50 years of La Petite Bande with joy and dedication.
We want to celebrate it solely and exclusively with music - after all, it's about "Musica Deo proxima est."
 
 What will be the most important - and at the same time the most expensive - project that we want to bring in this festive year 2022 ?  It is... nothing less than
                the opera "COSI FAN TUTTE" by MOZART
"But that will be impossible without subsidies, won't it ?"  so will you reply, probably...
Yes, it will be very, very difficult, but... nothing is really impossible...
 "Where there is a will, there is a way" says a Flemish proverb.
In doing so, Sigiswald has become a "Master", and yes, he always finds possible solutions and we support each other in that. So together we find solutions to reach our goal, because we also listen to the old sage Plato, who said:
"Music is a mentality. It gives a soul to the world."
So we will both use our souls to be able to realize our "Cosi fan tutte". We really want to make it work, just read how....
1.         As it was also often done in Mozart's time, Sigiswald adapted the score for a smaller ensmble, amely a string quintet with 2 horns added.  This arrangement will not be a loss of quality, because everything that is important in Mozart's score will be taken over by the strings and supported by the horns.  The recitativos will be accompanied by a harpsichord, as it always should be.
2.         We will not bring a "concertante" version -  no, it will be a theatrical performance with a very lively action, based on the theatrical conventions as they were in Mozart's time. Our second daughter, Marie Kuijken, has been studying and deepening her understanding  and appreciation  of these 18th century conventions : during years she analysed and observed the body positions, the gestures, and the declamation that were current in Mozarts time; sometimes this can include a little acrobatics too... She developed all this by herself, without a teacher, incorporating what she could read in old traités and looking attentively to lots of  original pictures !.... In the same way, her father also learned the baroque techniques for the violin from himself, all by himself, and thus without a teacher !
 ...Yes, that's how it is : "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree".
3.         The costumes for the six roles will be conceived and realized according to the caracteristics of Mozarts time. Marijke Sileghem, who used to be the right hand of the famous Belgian fashion designer Kaat Tilley, puts her entire soul, her wit and vivacity into this creation. Since the beginning of their collaboration, Marijke and Marie really became  "partner in crime"...!
4.         This performance does not need a set and can therefore be performed in any concert hall, large or less large ... However, some simple props will be necessary to realize the whole (to be discussed when the moment comes).
5.         The 6 young singers have been chosen by Marie and Sigiswald together: during several sessions of "La Petite Bande Summer Academy" in Italy, they were initiated by Marie  in  the declamation, gestures and acting rules of Mozart's time. They will prepare for several months under the direction of Marie.
6.         The small instrumental ensemble will be rehearsing with Sigiswald, who is also going to be the musical leader during the performances ...
 
 
 How will La Petite Bande be able to achieve this?
Old Plato will help us again and inspire us in this with his words:
"Music gives wings to the mind, and strength to the imagination."
So Sigiswald and I will together, from now on, spread our wings and our strength for La Petite Bande and let our imagination work. From now on, our imagination tells us this :
We will create "concerts" with our own hands and turn them into "fruits" (= money) for La Petite Bande.
We will prepare 2 different programs, under the impulse of Sigiswald, which we will play in order to fill the coffers of LPB:
The first program is Sigiswald alone, with Bach: he will play Bach solo concerts with his shoulder cello ( "violoncello da spalla") and also with his baroque violin. So anyone who would like to meet Sigiswald Kuijken in person at home can make this dream come true. If your home is not convenient, he can of course play for you on your own initiative elsewhere, for example in a small room filled with your friends... or in a chapel... or wherever you like.
You ask, and he plays! So you can get to know him as a very ordinary person from close by.
He will be delighted to come to the place of your dreams and play for you and your guests 2 Cello suites by Bach and the solo Partita No. 2 for violin (which ends with the famous and impressive "Chaconne").
For such a concert, we ask you - as the organizer - to make a DONATION of 1.000 €, to be paid to La Petite Bande itself. 
Thus, Sigiswald will with his own wings and with his own strength have raised money to realize and celebrate the 50 years of "La Petite Bande" in 2022.
The second program-possibility is : Sigiswald together with me (Marleen), with Mozart :
 Sigiswald and I come and perform as a couple the 2 very famous duos for violin and viola by Mozart... Another nice little duet by the Italian composer G. Cambini (contemporary of Mozart), will precede these two masterpieces.
Thus, we both together will use our own wings and our own strength!  For this program, we also ask he same  1,000 € from the organizer, as a donation to La Petite Bande. 
 
This is our way of thanking God or the Universe, for 50 years of "La Petite Bande" !
 
The more concerts we can play in this way, the better it will be for "Cosi fan tutte"! We don't make any demands on who of you wants to organize such a concert. Everything is good for us, our imagination tells us: we want to play at your home, even for you alone! Sure, if you invite family and friends, they can also contribute to the donation of 1,000 € for LPB, and of course it is not forbidden to exceed this sum...
 
We believe in the power of music, and we are planning these concerts more particularly in the following months :
- December 2021.
- January 2022.
- the second half of February 2022.
Since we have no other concerts to play in these months, there is a lot of time available to come and play at your place. Even on the holidays of Christmas and New Year we can make ourselves completely free, for those who would like to invite us even on these days!
Besides this, it will also be possible to play such a concert outside of the 3 months I mentioned above -  but then the date will have to be agreed with us according to the calendar freedoms remaining to us.
It is our intention to give these concerts mainly in our own country of Belgium, but we can also make the trip to neighboring countries, if it is not too far. We are already planning a small tour in France and Italy in the first half of February 2022...
For those who want to contact us for these concerts, we hereby give our mail address, because this is a private initiative of both of us: kuijken.thiers@me.com
We send you all our warmest greetings - and may the spirit of Plato inspire and guide you and us in the organization of these loving concerts ....
Very sincerely yours,
 
Marleen Thiers and Sigiswald Kuijken.
 
 
 
 

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

La Petite Bande recorded Mozart's Kleine Nachtmusik early 2021 for ACCENT , in combination with his 3 Divertimenti for strings (KV 136 137 and 138). This CD is without any doubt the first and only on the market, which presents these indeed well-known works in the so typical historical “diverimento” -string ensemble from Mozart's time: 2 violins, viola and double bass (instead of violoncello) ! This might have sounded the serenade orchestra under your bedroom window if you had lived in late 18th century Vienna…

Mozart - Requiem KV 626 - Kuijken String Quartet

Version for string quartet by Peter Lichtenthal (1780-1853)

Transcriptions for string quartet by the composer or someone else was common practice in Mozarts time. In that light this string-version of Mozart's Requiem is nothing special. What makes it special, is the circumstance of the original Requiem itself. It is known that Mozart left the majority of the work incompleted, and that on request of Mozart's widow, his pupil Süssmayer did the finishing job. Where one's work ends and the other's starts, no-one knows. This 'skeleton-version' of the Requiem, however, fully preserves the eloquence of Mozart's music and therefore perhaps proves that the Requiem contains more of the masters own composing than we can objectively establish. But incomplete as the Requiem is, Mozart's universal genius radiates through the notes in any version. And if anyone can bring the radiation to the surface in this version, no one better than the Kuijken Kwartet.

  1. Requiem KV 626 - Version for string quartet by Peter Lichtenthal (1780-1853) Introitus: Requiem
  2. Requiem KV 626 - Version for string quartet by Peter Lichtenthal (1780-1853) Kyrie
  3. Requiem KV 626 - Version for string quartet by Peter Lichtenthal (1780-1853) Dies Irae
  4. Requiem KV 626 - Version for string quartet by Peter Lichtenthal (1780-1853) Tuba mirum
  5. Requiem KV 626 - Version for string quartet by Peter Lichtenthal (1780-1853) Rex tremendae
  6. Requiem KV 626 - Version for string quartet by Peter Lichtenthal (1780-1853) Recordare
  7. Requiem KV 626 - Version for string quartet by Peter Lichtenthal (1780-1853) Confutatis
  8. Requiem KV 626 - Version for string quartet by Peter Lichtenthal (1780-1853) Lacrimosa
  9. Requiem KV 626 - Version for string quartet by Peter Lichtenthal (1780-1853) Domine Jesu Christe
  10. Requiem KV 626 - Version for string quartet by Peter Lichtenthal (1780-1853) Hostias
  11. Requiem KV 626 - Version for string quartet by Peter Lichtenthal (1780-1853) Sanctus
  12. Requiem KV 626 - Version for string quartet by Peter Lichtenthal (1780-1853) Benedictus
  13. Requiem KV 626 - Version for string quartet by Peter Lichtenthal (1780-1853) Agnus Dei
  14. Requiem KV 626 - Version for string quartet by Peter Lichtenthal (1780-1853) Lux aeterna

https://www.challengerecords.com/products/161409370377.01

A new CD by La Petite Bande ! Bach Cantatas BWV 72 , 156 and 92

Dear friends and fans of La Petite Bande, 

We would like to make a positive note in these corona times. At the end of November 2020 a new CD of La Petite Bande was released by the German CD company ACCENT, on which 3 beautiful cantatas by J.S.Bach can be heard: BWV 72, 156 and 92.
Although in a strict sense it is not typical "Christmas music", this Bach recording will certainly contribute heartwarmingly and thoughtfully to a deeper experience of this corona-coloured end-of-year period of 2020 and of the months to come ...

This new CD from LPB is available on the market - but can be delivered quickly via LPB itself, at the price of 26 € (shipping costs are included).
You can order by paying into the account of Votre Petite Bande:
IBAN:  BE 30 4310 6868  0111   (not   .... .... 6888 etc , as initially indicated by mistake  on this page, sorry!) 
BIC: KREDBEBB
Please clearly state your postal address when ordering ! (If you would like an invoice, please also mention 'invoice').

This recording was made at the beginning of February 2020 in the somewhat futuristic theatre in Blaibach (Bavaria - you can see it via Google as soon as you enter "Blaibach"...) which was built in 2014 on the initiative of the German baryton Thomas Bauer. You can also listen to Thomas Bauer on this CD: he participated as a soloist and bass in the vocal quartet ! 

Finally, due to the corona crisis, this recording was the last activity of LPB this year 2020: all the other projects of 2020 were cancelled one by one from March onwards, or postponed to a later date, which often had to be cancelled again  ... 
The future of cultural life all over the world remains uncertain ... La Petite Bande has enough plans, the audience will be able to enjoy our performances again as soon as possible!
 

New book: “MY MOZART ... HIS MAGIC FLUTE”

Sigiswald and Mozart became a unity in this book.
Mozarts Magic Flute is being revealed here in its essence by Sigiswald, in a loving and simple way - without over-intellectual reflexions, nor trendy ‘new interpretations’.

More information

Message by Sigiswald Kuijken

As you might know, for reasons that are not properly understood the Flemish Government terminated its guaranteed annual financial support for La Petite from January 1st 2013: we are the only Belgian orchestra to be treated in this manner, despite our international reputation and extensive discography and contribution to Belgian, European and indeed worldwide musical life. The loss of Government financial support has put La Petite Bande in serious financial difficulties, and we are all working very hard to raise money to ensure that our unique orchestra can continue its work. We are sure that we will succeed, but to do so we need your support, to ensure that we will be able to continue our work and make music!
More information to support the orchestra, as explained by Sigiswald, can be found here:

Joining the new 'LPB Friend group'
 

News

September 06, 2021
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
La Petite Bande recorded Mozart's Kleine Nachtmusik early 2021...
March 26, 2021
Mozart - Requiem KV 626 - Kuijken String Quartet
Version for string quartet by Peter Lichtenthal (1780-1853)

Transcri...
December 11, 2020
A new CD by La Petite Bande ! Bach Cantatas BWV 72 , 156 and 92
Dear friends and fans of La Petite Bande, 

We would like to make a positive note...
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