From the Sun King Louis XIV to Emperor Kangxi

A Royal Baroque Music Travelogue



Xiang Hai Xuan, Nan Lian Garden, Chi Lin Nunnery

2020 年 1 月 12 日 星期日下午3時15分
12 JANUARY 2020 Sunday 3:15pm
音樂會前導賞: 下午2 時 30 分
Pre-Concert Talk at 2:30pm

Presented by Early Music Society of Hong Kong

Program Introduction

Join us for a program of music heard in the courts of France, Germany, and China. From the courts of the Kangxi Emperor in Beijing to the Louis XIV in Versaille, music and text heard in these royal courts will illuminate the Catholic missionary network in the Age of Discovery.


Music in the Forbidden City and the Palace of Versaille

The Italian missionary Father Pedrini wrote a letter in 1771 from Beijing to Rome.


The Emperor called me into his presence […] and before his throne was a harpsichord. He made me sing the notes of a song written by himself, and then made me play it on the harpsichord with a few others in the Chinese fashion, and then in the European fashion. Afterwards we played some European sonatas…

皇上召臣德理格入宮殿,御前西洋樂器鐵絲琴一具。皇上令臣彈奏御編曲一首,隨後又令臣奏本國之曲數首,跟隨西洋樂曲。之後我們彈奏歐洲奏鳴曲 …

Teodorico Pedrini 德理格 (1671–1746)

Sonata No. 3 in D Major from Sonate a violino solo col basso del Nepridi, opera terza (c. 1711–1746)






Baroque Violin: Addi Liu

Baroque Cello: Jamie Jim

Harpsichord: Derek Tam





A Shepherd Boy Wandering in the Hills 牧童遊山

Text by Matteo Ricci 利瑪竇 (1552–1610)

Music adapted by John Thompson, based on Mozi Bei Ge 墨子悲歌 (1609)

Text from Canzone del manicordio di Europa voltate in lettera cinese 西琴曲意 (1601)

Soprano: Anna O’Connell

Baroque Flute: Cheng-Yu Wu

Harpsichord: Derek Tam

牧童遊山 A Shepherd Boy Wandering in the Hills
牧童忽有憂, A shepherd boy fell sad one day,
即厭此山, Hating the hillside on which he stood;
而遠望彼山之如美, He thought a distant hill he saw, more beautiful by far,
可雪憂焉。 And that going there would wipe away his sorrows.
至彼山, So he set off to that distant hill,
近彼山, But as he drew near to it
近不若遠矣。 It looked less good than it had from afar.
牧童、牧童, O shepherd boy, shepherd boy,
易居者寧易己乎? How can you expect to transform yourself by changing your dwelling place?
汝何往而能離己乎? If you move away can you leave yourself behind?
憂樂由心萌, Sorrow and joy sprout in the heart.
心平隨處樂, If the heart is peaceful, you’ll be happy everywhere,
心幻隨處憂, If the heart is in turmoil, every place brings sorrow.
微埃入目, A grain of dust in your eye
人速疾之, Brings discomfort speedily;
而爾寬於串心之錐乎? How can you then ignore this sharp awl that pierces your heart?
已外尊己, If you yearn for things outside yourself
固不及自得矣, You will never obtain what you are seeking.
奚不治本心, Why not put your own heart in order
而永安於故山也? And find peace on your own hillside?
古今論皆指一耳。 Old and new writers alike give this advice:
遊外無益, There’s no advantage to roaming outside,
居內有利矣! Keep the heart inside, for that brings the profit.
Translation by Jonathan Spence

In the last decade of the reign of Louis XIV, François Couperin composed and performed private concerts for the King at the Palace of Versaille. Three decades ago Louis XIV sent six Jesuit missionaries known as the King’s Mathematicians from Versaille to Beijing to teach the Kangxi Emperor mathematics.

One of the priests returned from China to France in 1681, bringing with him the young Chinese man, Michael Alphonsius Shen Fu-Tsung [沈福宗]. They were presented to Louis XIV in 1684, along with Chinese classics text translated into Latin.

The French missionary Father Amiot wanted to impress Chinese scholars with the European music, playing Rameau’s Les Sauvage. He wrote in his diary:

“One day I enquired how they found our music […] They replied as politely as they possibly could that our songs are not made for their ears […] The songs of [Chinese] music, pass from the ear to the heart, and from the heart to the soul. We feel them, we understand them: those ones that you [Europeans] just played do not make that effect on us.”

Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683–1764)

Les Sauvage from Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin (1727)

François Couperin (1668–1733)

Second Concert from Concerts Royaux

Prélude, gracieusment

Allemande Fuguée, gayment

Air Tendre

Air Contre fugué, vivement

Échos, tendrement

Baroque Flute: Cheng-Yu Wu

Baroque Violin: Addi Liu

Viola da Gamba: Lam Tim Wai

Harpsichord: Derek Tam


Music for the Prussian and Celestial Courts

Ich habe genug,

Ich habe den Heiland, das Hoffen der Frommen,

Auf meine begierigen Arme genommen;

Ich habe genug!

I have enough,

I have taken the Savior, the hope of the righteous,

into my eager arms;

I have enough!


Ich habe genug, BWV 82 (1731)

Aria: Ich habe genug

Recitativo: Ich habe genug

Aria: Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen

Recitativo: Mein Gott! wenn kömmt das schöne: Nun!

Aria: Ich freue mich auf meinen Tod

Soprano: Anna O’Connell

Baroque Flute: Cheng-Yu Wu

Baroque Violin: Addi Liu, Edmond Chan

Baroque Viola: Lam Tim Wai

Baroque Cello: Jamie Jim

Harpsichord: Derek Tam

1. Aria 1. Aria
Ich habe genug, I have enough,
Ich habe den Heiland, das Hoffen der Frommen, I have taken the Savior, the hope of the righteous,
Auf meine begierigen Arme genommen; into my eager arms;
Ich habe genug! I have enough!
Ich hab ihn erblickt,   I have beheld Him,
Mein Glaube hat Jesum ans Herze gedrückt;   my faith has pressed Jesus to my heart;
Nun wünsch ich, noch heute mit Freuden   now I wish, even today with joy
Von hinnen zu scheiden.   to depart from here.
2. Recitative 2. Recitative
Ich habe genug. I have enough.
Mein Trost ist nur allein, My comfort is this alone,
Dass Jesus mein und ich sein eigen möchte sein. that Jesus might be mine and I His own.
Im Glauben halt ich ihn, In faith I hold Him,
Da seh ich auch mit Simeon there I see, along with Simeon,
Die Freude jenes Lebens schon. already the joy of the other life.
Laßt uns mit diesem Manne ziehn! Let us go with this man!
Ach! möchte mich von meines Leibes Ketten Ah! if only the Lord might rescue me
Der Herr erretten; from the chains of my body;
Ach! wäre doch mein Abschied hier, Ah! were only my departure here,
Mit Freuden sagt ich, Welt, zu dir: with joy I would say, world, to you:
Ich habe genug. I have enough.
3. Aria 3. Aria
Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen, Fall asleep, you weary eyes,
Fallet sanft und selig zu! close softly and pleasantly!
Welt, ich bleibe nicht mehr hier,   World, I will not remain here any longer,
Hab ich doch kein Teil an dir,   I own no part of you
Das der Seele könnte taugen.   that could matter to my soul.
Hier muss ich das Elend bauen,   Here I must build up misery,
Aber dort, dort werd ich schauen   but there, there I will see
Süßen Friede, stille Ruh.   sweet peace, quiet rest.
4. Recitative 4. Recitative
Mein Gott! wann kömmt das schöne: Nun! My God! When will the lovely ‘now!’ come,
Da ich im Friede fahren werde when I will journey into peace
Und in dem Sande kühler Erde and into the cool soil of earth,
Und dort bei dir im Schoße ruhn? and there, near You, rest in Your lap?
Der Abschied ist gemacht, My farewells are made,
Welt, gute Nacht! world, good night!
5. Aria 5. Aria
Ich freue mich auf meinen Tod, I delight in my death,
Ach, hätt’ er sich schon eingefunden. ah, if it were only present already!
  Da entkomm ich aller Not,   Then I will emerge from all the suffering
  Die mich noch auf der Welt gebunden.   that still binds me to the world.

Dieterich Buxtehude (c. 1637/39–1707)

Liebster, meine Seele saget, BuxWV 70

Soprano: Anna O’Connell

Baroque Flute: Cheng-Yu Wu

Baroque Violin: Addi Liu, Joey Ho

Baroque Cello: Jamie Jim

Harpsichord: Derek Tam

Liebster, meine Seele saget mit durchaus verliebtem Sinn, Dearest, my soul speaks in complete adoration,
und mit vollem Sehnen fraget: and asks with deepest desire,
Liebster, ach, wo bist du? Dearest, where have you gone?
Komm, mein Heiland, mein Verlangen, Come, my Savior, my desire,
Komm, vom Libanon gegangen! Come to me from Lebanon!
Laß dich finden, o dein Jammer, Let me find you, O your misery!
dan so will ich führen dichhin zu meiner Mutter Kammer, then will I lead you to my mother’s chamber,
ja ich will bemühen mich, yes, I will strive,
meine Lust, dich nicht zu lassen auf die Gassen auf die Strassen. my desire, not to lose you in the highways and in the byways.
Sage mir doch, bitt’ ich, o du, Tell me, I beg you, O you,
Saransblume du, wo zugengen in Mittage, Flower of Sharon, where in mid-day,
nimmst du deine süsse Ruh? do you take rest?
Ach wo pflegst du samt den Schafen auszuruhen, auszuschlafen? Ah, where do you care for your sheep, to rest, to sleep?
Komm, ach komm, laß deine Liebe dein Panier Come, ah come, let your banner of love be over me,
sein über mir,
mich dein Absein nicht betrübe, I am not troubled by your absence,
sondern laß mich für und für unter deinen Armen sitzen deine Liebesflamm er hitzen. but let me sit under your arms forever and ever and kindle the flame of your love.
Alleluja. Alleluja.
(Trans. by Jonathan Moyer)

In the 60th year of the Kangxi Emperor’s reign or 1721, Bach presented six concertos to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt.

The fifth Brandenburg concerto may have been written for a harpsichord competition between Bach and the French composer Louis Marchand. Bach included a melody written by Marchand in the second movement.

Louis Marchand, who heard Bach playing the previous day left town in the morning and never showed up for the contest.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)

Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, BWV 1050 (1720–21)





Baroque Flute: Cheng-Yu Wu

Baroque Violin: Edmond Chan

Harpsichord: Derek Tam


Baroque Violin: Joey Ho, Amy Yau

Baroque Viola: Lam Tim Wai

Baroque Cello: Jamie Jim

Artists Biographies