Musician and Pacific Baroque Festival artistic director Marc Destrubé will perform in a quartet in Parksville on Saturday, Feb. 10 ahead of the baroque festival in Victoria. — Submitted by Brian Groos

Parksville concert to serenade audience like the Sun King

Baroque festival to hold Parksville concert Feb. 10

The Pacific Baroque Festival in Victoria is bringing a taste of Le Grand Siècle to Parksville with a concert at Knox United Church on Saturday, Feb. 10.

The concert will be the third the festival has brought to Parksville, this year with an emphasis on celebrating the 350th anniversary of François Couperin who transformed French music during the reign of Louis XIV.

To that end, the Parksville concert looks to bring chamber music that might have been played for a more intimate audience in the king’s bedchamber.

“To provide better context, the idea is for people to get an experience of listening to these small ensembles in a space that would be relatively similar in size to what it would be performed in in its day,” said Brian Groos, the festival’s manager. Chamber music group La Modestine will perform at Knox, which includes Linda Melsted on baroque violin, Natalie Mackie on viola de gamba, Michael Jarvis on harpsichord, and the festival’s artistic director, Marc Destrubé, on baroque violin. “We will in fact play a suite by Marin Marais that was played to the Sun King as he prepared for bed,” said Destrubé.

A fan of baroque music for its variety of musical forms and its attitude of experimentation (which he likens to that of early jazz musicians), Destrubé said Couperin is important because he reconciled the influence of French and Italian musical styles at the French court.

“Some decades after Jean-Baptiste Lully had established a French style of music at the court, largely based on his invention of the ‘opera-ballet’ with its succession of dances and arias, the influence of Italian music and musicians on French musical style became increasingly important, which led to heated debates between the ‘Lullistes’ and the ‘Ramistes’ (fans of the more adventurous Jean-Philippe Rameau),” Destrubé explained.

“Couperin, the greatest among a family of musicians, wished to calm the debate and reconcile the two styles; the result was music of sublime beauty that had an important influence on many later composers, including J.S. Bach, Brahms, Richard Strauss and Ravel.”

Another level of context audiences will get comes from the musicians using period instruments, said Destrubé. This is especially important when it comes to understanding and playing baroque music, he said. “Unlike in later music, there is little information about how to play the music in the written notes, so that there is a great deal of freedom of interpretation, along with the necessity of being as well-informed as possible about performance practices of the time,” he said.

“In addition, we use the instruments as they were at the time, which gives us a lot of insight into how the music might have sounded.”

Asked what audiences will hear at Knox, Destrubé said, “Audiences will enjoy hearing a variety of dance movements, the unique sounds of period instruments with their somewhat gritty-sounding gut strings, and the grace, elegance, and lace-like ornamentation which typify music of this period.

“We would hope that our music and music-making might transport the audience into another world, either of their own making, or imagining themselves in a different time and place.”

The baroque performance at Knox United Church (345 Pym St., Parksville), called The King’s Radio, takes place Saturday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors and students. They can be purchased at Mulberry Bush book stores in Parksville and Qualicum Beach, as well as online at

Just Posted

BC Hockey to improve concussion care for players

BC Hockey has partnered with HeadCheck Health Inc. to establish standardization, and… Continue reading

Nanoose farm hopes to be more agriculturally transparent

Goal is to have new barn open to the public by spring of 2019

Teens premier Beauty and Beast Jr. Aug. 16 in Qualicum Beach

Outgoing and up-and-coming actors detail benefits of teen program

Drug-busted building in Parksville declared a ‘nuisance property’

RCMP has attended 354 Island Hwy. West 86 times since 2007

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Column: Mother orca’s display of grief sends powerful message

The grief of this orca mother may not be visible anymore, but we must not forget.

Seven people with ties to Red Scorpions gang arrested in B.C. drug bust

Delta police have secured 94 charges against seven people, including drug and firearm offences

Second measles scare this summer at YVR

An infected traveller flew out of Vancouver’s airport three times

Judge OKs Weinstein suit, cites casting couch’s history

Actress Kadian Noble can sue disgraced Hollywood mogul for violating sex trafficking laws

Employers to raise salaries 2.6% on average next year: report

Firm points to factors such possibility of more trade protectionism, rising interest rates

B.C. school’s pledge to ban sex outside of heterosexual marriage now optional for students

Community convenant of Langley’s Trinity Western University has been centre of rights debate

Better Business Bureau open for Torch Award nominations

Deadline to nominate an amazing business or employee is Aug. 31

PM Trudeau and federal ministers to meet on Vancouver Island

Cabinet retreat will be held in Nanaimo from Aug. 21-23

Most Read