That figure who echoes again and again through history - the man with great power, whose vanity towers uncertainly over an abyss of fear - what dreams resonate though the chamber of his sleeping mind?​​​​​​​​​​​

It is 1687. Under the rule of the Sun King, Louis XIV, France has advanced in glory and wealth to become the envy and fear of other nations. The valet who sleeps at the foot of the king’s bed every night knows the king’s restless nights and understands what they express of the king's mind. His valet has seen the court’s ceremonies and plays, heard its conversation and music. He has also read the texts and heard the street songs in which the Parisian public criticise and mock Louis' reign. And so with this knowledge the valet guesses the dreams - echoes of his waking hours - that Louis suppresses by day: 

a shifting flux of thoughts, words, sounds, images, emotions; moments of radiant bliss, fantasies of desire, power and glory, haunted by the spectres of fear and self-doubt; visions of a great loneliness, drifting through space; the shadow of his own mortality; and, maybe, visions of other worlds and lives re-woven from the unpicked fabric of his own existence, a different sun illuminating another dawn …
 

A fantasy by Jonathan Rees using 17th-C french folk tunes, viol music by De Machy, Marais, Sainte-Colombe, Forqueray, compositions by Mal Waldron and John Barber, and words by La Rochefoucauld, La Fontaine and Pascal.


​London
1 June 2018 at 10pm
Fitzrovia Chapel


Oxford
Worton Organic Garden
2 June 2018
Contact mailing list here if interested in coming


Bristol
17 June 2018 at 13:30
Bristol Music Club
76 St Paul's Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1LP

£5 entry for non-members of  Viola da Gamba Society of Great Britain