"8/10 Anyone looking for authentic Dutch misery will find joy at Camerata Trajectina"Luister, 15-10-2021
When people are affected by a disaster, they often seek comfort. There is a long tradition of disaster songs: by singing together people sought support from each other.
Lotte Jensen (Professor of Dutch Cultural and Literary History at Radboud University in Nijmegen) investigates the emotional impact of disasters and the creation of a national identity in the Netherlands and came across songs about fires, floods, drought and insect plagues. Camerata Trajectina brings this tradition of the Dutch disaster song to life.
About the plague and corona, about the St. Elizabeth’s Flood in 1421 and the Flood of 1953: singing about disasters is timeless. Camerata Trajectina has made a fascinating overview, from devotional lyrics to psalm melodies but also cabaret-like songs from the 1920s. An expressive melodrama by Hendrik Badings and mesmerizing chorales from the Evangelische Liedbundel from 1806.
The functions of these lyrics are diverse; to evoke awareness of sin or as a news outlet, for youth education or for fundraising. This album shows how people in the Netherlands dealt with major disasters and what a comforting and connecting role music played in this.
The ensemble Camerata Trajectina (‘Utrecht Musical Company’), established in 1974, has made its name through its continuing advocacy of Dutch music from the Middle Ages up through the 17th century. The heart of the ensemble consists of Hieke Meppelink (soprano), Nico van der Meel (tenor), Saskia Coolen (recorder), Erik Beijer (viola da gamba) and Louis Peter Grijp (lute and cittern). Sytse Buwalda (alto) and Marcel Moester (bass-baritone) complete the vocal quartet. They are supported by additional musicians when needed, such as on this CD the viola da gamba players Nick Milne en Cassandra Luckhardt.
Artistic leader Louis Peter Grijp has been researching Dutch music for 25 years at the Meertens Institute in Amsterdam, where he set up the enormous Dutch Song Database. In addition he is Professor of Dutch Song Culture at the University of Utrecht. His programs are usually built around literary or political and religious themes and figures from Dutch history. Camerata Trajectina has participated in many national commemorations, from the Union of Utrecht (1979) to John Calvin (2009), and also on the commemoration of the Frisian poet Gyxbert Japix (2003). Another of Camerata’s themes is the connection between music and art, including Jan Steen (1996, Amsterdam Rijksmuseum), Frans Hals (2004, Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem) and Hieronymus Bosch (De Zeven Zonden van Jeroen Bosch or The Seven Sins of Hieronymus Bosch, 2009), with the poet Gerrit Komrij. Camerata Trajectina devotes special attention to Dutch musical theater from the Golden Age, such as the first Dutch opera Bacchus, Ceres & Venus by Johan Schenck (performed at the Utrecht Early Music Festival in 2006), Starter’s sung farce Lijsje Flepkous (2007) and Hacquart’s semi-opera De Triomferende Min (‘The Triumphs of Love’) (2012).
Camerata Trajectina has given hundreds of concerts in the Netherlands (including many in the Utrecht Early Music Festival) and Flanders, in most of the other countries of Europe, in the United States and Canada, Mexico, the Middle East, Indonesia, Ghana, and Morocco. The history of the ensemble has been recorded in the jubilee book Van Peeckelharing tot Pierlala. 40 jaar oude/nieuwe liedekens door Camerata Trajectina by Jolande van der Klis (2014). Meanwhile Camerata has produced over 30 CDs, almost all on the Globe label. These can be ordered via www.cameratatrajectina. nl. Most of these can be listened to via the streaming service of the Dutch Song Database (www. liederenbank.nl).
8/10 Anyone looking for authentic Dutch misery will find joy at Camerata Trajectina
Camerata Trajectina takes us through centuries of national misery. The album is, as always, beautifully designed, with all the old Dutch lyrics sung in the booklet.
Het Parool, 20-1-2022
Thanks to an ingenious coordination of polyphonic and monophonic settings, the music remains captivating from start to finish.
Nieuwe Muze, 01-12-2021
To start with: what a beautiful digipack! Musically it's all fine and then the chosen subject is also delicious