Concert organizers know that if they ask me to come up with a made-to-measure program, preferably of course around an impossible subject as music and insects in the fifteenth century, or the like, I am bound to be found a few days later surrounded by piles of scores and articles with sore eyes and empty coffee cups and very happy. It’s a matter of carrots and donkeys, or red flags to a bull, or just sheer geekiness, I don’t know… Anyway, this time the request that came my way was not SO excentric: make a concert programme for a trio with 17th Century music from the archives of the Arenbergs, an old noble house of dukes and duchesses being spotlighted this season in the city of Leuven’s cultural program.
When in the archives of the family, stowed away in a house in Edingen/Enghien, the most interesting find for me was a big book of melodies from the 17th till 19th centuries, that all had parody texts that said the meanest and sauciest things about all kind of noble and or famous people of the time.
So I decided to call upon my friend actor-singer Tristan Droillard whose talent in telling dirty stories (on stage, bien sûr, don’t get me wrong) is just a pure delight to watch. In dutch, gossiping is referred to as “hanging someones dirty laundry out”, So joined by archlute player Francesco Olivero we coaxed up ‘Les chaussettes de l’archiduchesse” – Galanterie and Gossip in a 17th Century salon. Will be heard in Leuven on 25/11/2018 and Kortrijk 17/02/2019!
So long, enjoy this reading tip: Gédéon Tallemant des Réaux, Les Historiettes.