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FLATTER, TICKLE & COURT THE EAR? French Chamber Music from the Early Eighteenth Century

Sunday 10 March 2019 19:00-20:15

In a programme of French chamber music from the early 18th century, leading Scottish harpsichordist Jan Waterfield and UK-based Hungarian recorder player László Rózsa propose to flatter, tickle, and court the ear.


Jan Waterfield read music at Girton College, Cambridge, where she was also a choral scholar. This was followed by postgraduate studies in harpsichord and piano with John Toll and David Willison at the RAM in London, where she won prizes for both lieder accompaniment and continuo playing. After graduating from the RAM, she was a member of the prestigious European Union Baroque Orchestra, working alongside Jaap ter Linden and Andrew Manze. Jan has been a member of Paul McCreesh’s Gabrieli Consort since 1993, taking part in their many award-winning projects. Since 2009 she has been their principal harpsichordist and was a major player (both as organist and researcher) in their recent disc ‘A New Venetian Coronation’, the recipient of a 2013 gramophone award. She is also a regular player with the Academy of Ancient Music, the Classical Opera Company, His Majesty’s Sagbutts and Cornetts, La Serenissima, the Scottish Ensemble, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Ludus Baroque. She was a contributor to John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach Cantata pilgrimage of 2000 – the extraordinary series of live recordings made from a year’s journey through Europe, performing the whole cycle of Bach’s church cantatas. Her solo highlights range from recording the complete virginals works of Martin Peerson to playing Gorecki’s concerto for amplified harpischord live from London’s Wigmore Hall on BBC R3. Jan has been active as a teacher at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh, the Guildhall School in London, the Academie Baroque Européene in France as well as both Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh Universities and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Her experience as a vocal coach results in a steady stream of singers beating a path to her door. She is a regular duo partner of the soprano Mhairi Lawson, the bass Brian Bannatyne-Scott and the ‘cellist Christopher Suckling. She can sometimes be found playing the accordion with the klezmer group ‘Kleyne Klezmer’. “ highlights include the gentle warmth of Jan Waterfield’s organ playing” (BBC Music magazine, 2012) “wonderfully delicate chamber organ solos, played by Jan Waterfield” (Bachtrack 2012)

(photo credit: Tommy Ga-ken Wan)

László Rózsa was born in Budapest in 1989, where he began his musical education. At the age of fifteen he entered the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, where he pursued preparatory studies with Helge M. Stiegler. He continued his studies with Peter Holtslag at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Hamburg and later on at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he graduated with distinction in 2013. As a soloist and chamber musician he enjoys a varied freelance career both in the UK and abroad, sharing the platform with distinguished musicians such as Michael Chance, John Butt, and Jan Waterfield, and performing with leading early music ensembles including the Dunedin Consort, Spiritato, and Oxford Baroque. László has performed numerous times on BBC Radio 3, and was recently selected into their Introducing Artist programme. He appears on albums published by Veterum Musica, Resonus Classics and Linn Records. Besides performing, he is a keen educator, currently teaching at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the University of Glasgow. He has also taught and led workshops at the Royal Academy of Music and the University of York. As a result of a growing interest in musicological research, László is currently undertaking a PhD course at the University of Glasgow under the joint supervision of John Butt and David McGuinness which is generously supported by a scholarship from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

(photo credit: Tobias Gloger)


From the second half of the seventeenth to the beginning of the eighteenth century, two starkly contrasting national styles set the musical tone of continental Europe. On one side stood the French taste, filled with graceful elegance and majestic gestures, and on the other, the rival Italian, characterised by adventurous flamboyance and piquant harmonies. In 1702 the scholarly priest, François Raguenet, published a seminal treatise on how these two styles compare, and in this context, he portrayed French music as something that flatters, tickles and courts the ears. This description was certainly suitable in the early 1700s, however, as twilight began to set on the Sun King, Louis XIV’s absolutist reign, the purity of the French style began to vanish step by step. A new generation of composers flourished, many of them keen consumers of Italian music, and in 1724 François Couperin published a work with symbolic relevance, Les goûts-réunis, or the styles reunited. In our present programme we explore how this intertwining of tastes came to place and gained prominence throughout the following decades of the century.


Francois Couperin (1688-1733)
Second concert in D major for recorder and basso continuo (Concerts Royaux, 1722)
Prélude. Gracieusement – Allemande fuguée. Gayement – Air tendre – Air Contre fugé. Vivement – Échos. Tendrement

Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1665-1725)
Suite in D minor for harpsichord (Pièces de Clavecin, 1687)
Prélude – Allemande – Cannaris – Chaconne L’Inconstante

Jacques Martin Hotteterre (1673-1763)
Suite No. 3 in G major for recorder and basso continuo (Premier Livre de Pieces, 1708/1715)
Allemande. La Cascade de St. Cloud – Sarabande. La Guimon – Courante. L’Indifferente & Double – Rondeau. La Plaintif – Menuet. Le Mignon – Gigue. L’Italienne

Antoine Forqueray (1672-1745)
La Marelle & La Clément for harpsichord (Pièces de Clavecin, 1747)

Michel Blavet (1700-1768)
Sonata No. 2 in D minor for recorder and basso continuo (Troisieme Livre de Sonates, 1740)
Andante e spicato – Allegro – Minuetto. Variatione I-II

Event details:

FLATTER, TICKLE & COURT THE EAR? French Chamber Music from the Early Eighteenth Century
Sunday 10th March
7.00pm - 8.15pm

£15 / £12 (IFE member + student, unemployed person, retired person, disabled person)
Book directly online or contact us at 0131 285 6030 or info ifecosse.org.uk

Salle Moreau-Evrard
Institut français d’Ecosse
West Parliament Square
Edinburgh EH1 1RF

Institut Français Écosse 2022