Embarkation for Cythera


The isle of Cythera or Kythera was held as the birthplace of Venus, the goddess of love.
Countless French baroque works mention it, for apparently it was part of the mythological world cultivated at the French salons, where French aristocracy dwelled in their immagination, and as such it was portrayed in the marvelous painting by Antoine Watteau. 


Experience the French salon atmosphere, and an imaginary promenade into this fantasy world, through the magical sound of original French 18th century instruments: two pardessus de viole made respectively by Louis Guersan and Benoist Fleury, a bass viol by Andrea Castagnery and a copy of a viol by Bertrandaccompanied by the harpsichord. 


In the program, music by Rameau, Couperin, Jean-Baptiste Antoine Forqueray, Francesco Guerini ( 17..- 17.. ), Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer (1705-1755) ,  Alexandre de Villeneuve (1677-175?) , Roland Marais and arrangements of Corelli for 2 pardessus by Villeneuve.


This is the kind of music performed in French 18th century salons, with viols performed mostly by women, intersperced witty conversation, tasty food and good wine (we will serve French wine, of course).




 Myrna Herzog  pardessus de viole by Louis Guersan 1755 (formerly belonging to Thurston Dart), quinton attributed to Nicolas Augustin Chappuy (c.1750), bass viol by Andrea Castagneri, Paris 1744

Tal Arbel  pardessus de viole by Benoît Fleury c. 1750, recorder, bass viol by François Danger, copy of Nicolas Bertrand

Marina Minkin  harpsichord


pardessus IMG 3475



Embarkation for Cythera

"The Ra’anana house concert offered maximal conditions for hearing the finest details of Corelli’s Opus 3 No.2 and Opus 4 No.8 trio sonatas in all the text’s articulate detail, highlighting the imitative interaction between Herzog and Arbel and much elegant shaping of phrases... Marina Minkin performed with verve and inventive ornamenting. Making this event unique was seeing and hearing two beautifully crafted French pardessus viols built by Louis Guersan and Benoist Fleury and a quinton made by Nicolas Chappuy, heard in performance, in my opinion, for the first time in Israel.
Myrna Herzog’s musical ventures bring together ideas and fine playing. Her concerts never fail to take the listener into other worlds of sound, of fantasy and of interest, revealing so much about the essence of early music, its background and the people who created it."  Pamela Hickman

Read the full review here.


A salon experience

Our French salon




 "That was a 200% historically justified performance like the idealistic pioneers in years ‘60 – ’ 70 had in mind: playing baroque music in appropriate style, on period instruments like yours, in a ‘salon’, for a selected audience of lovers."   Fred Lindeman (Dutch luthier, expert restorer, responsible for the restoration of the Stradivarius of the Metropolitan Museum of New York back to its baroque condition, and for the restoration of the quinton and the 2 pardessus de viole played at the concert).


"There is no concert hall that can reproduce the atmosphere of closeness and the intimacy of a concert privé in a true salon. It is wonderful to play those little pardessus de viole in the environment for which they were conceived. Not only all feels completely right, but the exchange between people, the warmth, the sound, all accounts to an unforgetable experience for all the ones involved. We hope to perform this wonderful voyage to Cythera many more times".  Myrna Herzog


A video about Watteau's painting