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Discovered Gems from the Düben Collection - La Modestine

Thursday, February 7, 2018, 11AM 

The Victoria Conservatory of Music's Alix Goolden Performance Hall

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La Modestine - Marc Destrubé ( violin), Linda Melsted (violin), Natalie Mackie (viola da gamba), Michael Jarvis (harpsichord, organ)


The extraordinary Düben Collection contains over 2,000 manuscripts of 17th and early-18th century music by more than 300 European composers, collected by members of the Düben family and donated to Uppsala University in 1732. The collection is thought to include the music library of the Royal Swedish Court, where four of the Dübens served as kapellmeisters from 1640 to 1726.

$25 adult, $20 seniors and students


Ticket holders are invited to a complimentary pre-concert coffee from 10AM.



Johann Rosenmüller (1619 -1684)

   Sonata Quinta à 3 

   from Sonatae à 2,3,4 e 5 stromenti da arco et altri (1682)

             Grave - Largo - Adagio - Presto - Adagio


Jean-Fery Rebel (1666 - 1747)

   Violin Sonata No. 5 in D Major (1713)

              Viste - Légèrement - Sarabande - Viste - Gigue                                     

Johann Vierdanck (1605-1646)

    Sonata for two solo violins

Philipp Heinrich Erlebach (1657 - 1714)

   Sonata No. 3 in A major for violin, viola da gamba                     and basso continuo (1694)

                        Adagio - Allemande - Courante - Sarabande -                          Ciaconne - Final (Adagio)

Dietrich Becker (1623 – 1679)

    Sonata in C minor for 2 violins, viola da gamba                        & basso continuo,

            from Zwey-stimmiger Sonaten und Suiten (1674)

                        Adagio piano - Allegro - Adagio piano piano


Peter Philips (1561 — 1628)

     Pavana and Galliarda Doloroso. Treg[ian] (1593)


Johann Heinrich Schmelzer (c. 1620-1680) 

     Sonata XII for 2 violins, viola da gamba & basso continuo

            (from Duodena selectarum sonatarum, 1659)


La Modestine 

Marc Destrubé (violin) 

Linda Melsted (violin)

Natalie Mackie (viola da gamba)

Michael Jarvis (harpsichord, organ)

Destrubé is a brilliantly soulful player and his able, passionate orchestra follows his lead, answers his calls.


— The Georgia Straight

This performance is supported by Raymond James


The Düben Collection is an exceptional collection of some 2,000 music manuscripts by more than 300 composers from Germany, Italy, France, Poland, England, the Baltic countries and Sweden, and includes the only copies of many works by Dietrich Buxtehude. It was named after several members of the Düben family, who served as Hofkapellmeisters at the Swedish Court Chapel from 1640 until 1726. The last of these, Anders von Düben, donated the entire collection to the Uppsala University Library in 1732. As it contained music that was by then already out of fashion, and the boxes that carried it included families of rats, it was relegated to the library basement and ignored for some time. Only in the late 19th century did it attract interest and efforts at cataloguing it began; a complete published catalogue did not appear until 2006. It is most likely that the collection represents what remains of the music library from the Swedish Royal Court


Discussion of Johann Rosenmüller’s music is often eclipsed by his colourful, even scandalous, personal biography. After graduating from the University of Leipzig in 1640, serving as principal organist of the famous Nicolai church, and working as an assistant at the Thomaskirche, he was imprisoned in 1655 on charges of pederasty. After escaping, he fled to Italy, and by 1658 was working at both San Marco and L’Ospedale della Pietà in Venice. At the end of his life he returned to Germany, where he served for 10 years as choirmaster at the court of Duke Anton-Ulrich of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Whether or not there was any truth to the allegations that forced him to flee Germany, his music masterfully incorporates German renaissance contrapuntal conventions with new Italian musical trends in a style that his uniquely his own.


Jean Féry Rebel was a child violin prodigy, son of a tenor in Louis XIV's private chapel, later becoming a student of Jean-Baptiste Lully. After living in Spain for several years he was given a place in the Vingt-quatre Violons du Roi, becoming Maître de Musique in 1716. He also directed the Concert Spirituel during the 1734-1735 season. He was one of the first French composers to write in the Italian style.


Johann Vierdanck was born near Dresden. In 1615 he joined the court chapel of Dresden, where he became a student of Heinrich Schütz and of William Brade. His instrumental works were influenced by the Italian violinist Carlo Farina, also active in the Dresden court. After visits to Copenhagen and Lübeck, Vierdanck occupied the post of organist in Stralsund from 1635 until his death.


Philipp Heinrich Erlebach was born in Esens (Saxony) and was the son of a musician. He was named to the post of Kapellmeister to the Thuringian Court, which he held for 33 years until his death. Only 90 of his 400 sacred cantatas survive; much of his output was lost in a fire in 1735. A collection of secular vocal music, ‘Harmonische Freude musicalischer Freunde’, was published in 1697, and 13 of more than 100 instrumental pieces have survived, including six sonatas for violin, viola da gamba and continuo.


The chamber music of Dietrich Becker was among the most significant instrumental music coming from Germany during this time. A violinist and composer, Becker's first position was as organist at Ahrensberg and he later served as a violinist at the chapel of Duke Christian-Ludwig at Celle. He settled in Hamburg In 1662 where he was violinist for the City Council and in 1667 was named Kapellemeister. In 1668 Becker dedicated a collection of pieces entitled ‘Musikalischen Frühlingsfrüchte’ (‘Musical Spring Fruit’) to the mayor and members of the council. His collection of ‘Zweystimmigen Sonaten und Suiten’ (Sonatas and Suites for Two Voices) was published In 1674.


Peter Philips stands alongside Byrd, Bull and Sweelinck as one of the important composers of keyboard music of his time, as well as having written hundreds of motets and instrumental music. He began his musical life as a boy chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral but left England in 1582 on account of his Catholicism. After extensive travels and a few years in Rome he eventually settled in Flanders.  The Pavan and Galliarda Dolorosa was composed during a brief stay in prison, after he had been accused of complicity in a plot on Queen Elizabeth’s life; the cryptic ‘Treg.’ after the title is likely a reference to Francis Tregian, who was the principal copyist of the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, in which a number of Philips’ works appear.


Johann Heinrich Schmelzer von Ehrenruef was born in the early 1620’s in Scheibbs, a small town in Lower Austria.  Not much is known about his youth, but it is likely that he was first engaged in the imperial court as a boy treble, and probably was trained there by Bertali.  By 1643 he was instrumentalis musicus – and ‘cornetist’ at St Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna.  In 1649 he was engaged as a violinist in the court chapel of Emperor Ferdinand III.  When Leopold I came to the throne in 1658, Schmelzer was appointed director of instrumental music in the retinue attending the new emperor in Frankfurt am Main at his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor.  Although his main duty at court was the provision of ballet music for the court entertainments, which included operas, spoken dramas, pantomimes, pageants and other spectacles, he raised the instrumental sonata to a new level of excellence in both playing technique and composition. In 1671 he was appointed Vice-Kapellmeister, in 1673 ennobled by Leopold I, and in 1679, became the first non-Italian to hold the post of Kapellmeister.  That same year he followed the court to Prague, where it had moved to avoid the plague epidemic, but was stricken and then died of the disease.


Single Tickets and Festival Pass for the Pacific Baroque Festival can be purchased:


Online here (purchase now)

By calling the Victoria Conservatory of Music Box Office (purchase now):​ 250.386.5311

In person (tickets available from September 1):

  • At the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s Alix Goolden Performance Hall Box Office (900 Johnson Street, Victoria BC (box office charges apply)

  • Or at the Cathedral Office (930 Burdett Avenue)

  • And at the following outlets:

    • Ivy’s Bookshop at: 2188 Oak Bay Ave

    • Long & McQuade at: 756 Hillside Ave

    • Tanner’s Books at: 2436 Beacon ave, Sidney

    • Munro’s Books at: 1108 Government St.


Parking Information


The Victoria Conservatory of Music's Alix Goolden Hall is located at the corner of Quadra St. and Pandora Ave.

The VCM parking lot is reserved for staff and faculty at all times. Street parking and public lots are available within short walking distance.





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