Le Mercure has performed throughout Europe and has toured twice in Mexico City, most notably at the 14th Encuentro Internacional de Música Antigua 2009, hosted by the National Center of the Arts of Mexico. Concert venues have also included the Miguel Lerdo de Tejada Library and the Carlos Chávez Hall of the UNAM Center in Mexico City, the 2012 and 2008 Stichting Musica Antica da Camera Voorschoten Series, the 2007 International Organ and Chamber Music Festival of Southern Poland, and the 2005 Utrecht Early Music Festival Fringe Series. In addition, the ensemble has recorded twice for the Bavarian Radio of Germany and has been featured repeatedly as part of their early music broadcasts.
Le Mercure is concerned with the quality of life, believing that music has the power to transform and inspire people's lives. Our approach to music is heartfelt, and it has been wonderful to see how our performances have touched individual audience members on very personal levels. For us, each concert is unique and special; each melody engages a spontaneous dialogue between us and our audience, expressing emotions incommunicable through daily language. As musicians, to create such a communication is our duty and aspiration.
We believe in the words of J.J. Quantz, "For that which does not come from the heart will surely not reach the heart." It is with this vision that we serve our public some of the most beautiful music there is for the human spirit.
The name Le Mercure was taken from various periodicals that existed in France during the 17th and 18th centuries, in which one often found reports of important musical performances of the time. It also refers to Mercury, the messenger of the gods in Roman mythology. We feel ourselves as messengers who wish to transmit, through the beautiful music that we play, the messages of love and human understanding to our audience.
Since 1999 Teddie Hwang has dedicated herself to historical performance, being fascinated by the timbre and vocal qualities of the traverso. Born in Hong Kong, she studied with Wilbert Hazelzet and received her Master's degree in Historical Flute Performance at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague, Netherlands. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Music and Germanic studies from Indiana University, where she studied modern flute with Kathryn Lukas and graduated with high distinction. Her interest in classical and romantic music on period instruments has led her to perform under leading conductors such as Richard Egarr and Jos van Immerseel. Her performances have appeared on public broadcasts such as Radio 4 (Netherlands), Bayerischer Rundfunk, and Deutschlandradio (Germany). She can also be heard on the CD 'Beautiful Baroque', a collection of baroque music for special occasions. First-prize winner of the 2004 Baroque Flute Artist Competition held by the National Flute Association of America, she takes inspiration from the songs of turtledoves and blackbirds. Teddie can also be heard on www.soundcloud.com/teddiehwang.
Dorota Hosnowska, baroque violin
A native of Racibórz, Poland, Dorota Hosnowska has shared her imaginative musicality with an international audience. She has performed and toured with various Polish ensembles such as the Warsaw Chamber Opera, Musica Sacre, as well as the European Union Baroque Orchestra, where she played under the direction of Roy Goodman, Andrew Manze, and Alfredo Bernardini. She completed her bachelor's degree with Pavlo Beznosiuk at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague.
Gerald Stempfel, viola da gamba
Born in Nürnberg, Germany, Gerald Stempfel chose the viola da gamba as his muse for sensitive musical expressions. A winner of numerous competitions, he received first prizes at the 1990 Bavarian Conservatory Competition in Munich and at the 1989 Utrecht Early Music Competition. With the German recording label Carpe Diem he has recently recorded an album of 17th century English court and dance music entitled 'John come kiss me now', receiving much critical acclaim. He can also be heard on the label Denon, in radio productions with the Southwestern and Bavarian Radio (Germany), as well as the Czech Radio. Music has taken him all over Europe, spanning from Great Britain to Poland, Norway to Italy. He has studied at the Meistersinger Konservatorium in Nürnberg and at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel.
Miguel Angel Cicero, harpsichord
Miguel Cicero enjoys being active as a chamber music musician as well as a soloist, performing in numerous early music festivals throughout Mexico. A native of Mexico City, he studied at the Escuela Nacional de Música in Mexico City, where he now teaches harpsichord and chamber music. In addition, he is also instructor of basso continuo at the National Conservatory of Music (Conservatorio Nacional de Música). A graduate of the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague, he studied harpsichord and basso continuo with Jacques Ogg, as well as further studies with Richard Egarr. Besides European early music, his passion for traditional Mexican music has also led him to collaborations with numerous Mexican folk musicians, performing in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Mexico.
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Visit Evangelische Kirche
Saturday April 9th, 14:00 at the Noorderkerk in Amsterdam, NL.
Teddie Hwang, traverso; Gerald Stempfel, viola da gamba; Miguel Angel Cicero, harpsichord.
14th International Early Music Festival of Mexico City
Mexico City - May 10-15, 2009
Watch Le Mercure's concert on May 14 at the Sala Blas Galindo, Mexico City:
In this tour, Le Mercure performed three concerts at very different locations, each venue with a flair of its own. Our Mother's Day concert was given at a rest home for elderly women. With the golden sunlight shining through the chapel windows as our inspiration, we felt the power of music at the most fundamental level and were really thankful for the opportunity to perform on this lovely occasion. The ladies received us with great enthusiasm, some clapping to the music as we played. It was wonderful for both sides to experience music in a truly humane, heartfelt way.
Our second concert took place at the National School of Conservation, Restoration and Museography (ENCRyM). Many young students and professionals attended the event, which showed us that early music can cross boundaries. We were once again impressed with the overall enthusiasm for classical music amongst Mexico's young generation.
Our last concert was given at the Sala Blas Galindo as part of the 14th International Early Music Festival of Mexico City, sponsored by the National Center for the Arts (CENART). Although fear of the H1N1 influenza can still be felt at times, Le Mercure nevertheless performed to a welcoming crowd of listeners and it was a great way to end our tour of Mexico. The evening concluded with a filmed interview of the ensemble and was broadcasted on CENART's web channel.
As part of the festival, we also gave chamber music and instrumental masterclasses to conservatory students interested in historical performance. The masterclasses took place at the Escuela Superior de Música and was attended by both modern and historical players. The exchange of ideas was rewarding indeed and we hope it provided a few sparks of inspiration for everyone.
Thank you all, once again, for your support of Le Mercure. We look forward to our next journeys!
Le Mercure at the Carlos Chávez Hall, Mexico City.
Watch us live from one of the Biblioteca concerts by clicking here.
In this tour, Le Mercure presented two concerts at the beautiful Biblioteca Miguel Lerdo de Tejada and one at the Carlos Chávez Hall in the prestigious university complex UNAM. With two new programs to prepare, it was a a challenging yet rewarding experience for us all. Our Telemann program made us realize once again what a fascinating composer he truly was. Small unknown gems from his Essercizii Musici and Der Getreue Musikmeister gave a wonderful kaleidoscopic portrayal of his musical language. In our French program, we discovered a beautiful trio by Erlebach which provided endless inspiration. Although not French by origin, the piece shows some early French influences which complemented our program nicely.
Once again the Mexican audience was enthusiastic, and the reception ranged from warm to overwhelming. Both Teddie and Gerald had chances to meet and coach the upcoming generation of Mexican early music musicians. The experiences were fruitful and memorable.
In addition, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to gambist Gabriela Villa-Walls for lending us her beautiful bass gamba for our projects. ¡Muchas gracias, Gabriela!
With a duo program of traverso and harpsichord, Le Mercure presented its Mexico debut at the library of Miguel Lerdo de Tejada. The library is known for its patronage for the arts and especially in the field of early music, presenting free concerts to the public and maintaining a strong following in concert goers. Our audience seemed to have come from all walks of life, even some who had never attended concerts at the Biblioteca before. We genuinely felt a warm reception from our audience and are definitely looking forward to our return to the Biblioteca in November.
Recording for BR
Recording for the Bavarian Radio in the Meistersingerhalle in Nürnberg, Germany
February 3 & 4, 2008
Le Mercure enjoyed its 3rd production with the Bavarian Radio!
Maihingen Cloister, Germany
February 1, 2008
Am Freitag, 1. Februar, um 20 Uhr, findet im kleinen Vortragssaal des Klosters Maihingen ein Konzert mit Musik des 18. Jahrhunderts statt. Auf dem Programm stehen zwei Pariser Quartette von G. Ph. Telemann sowie einige französische Werke wie La Françoise von F. Couperin Le Grand. Die Quartette sind der Höhepunkt des musikalischen Oeuvres von Telemann und ein wichtiger Meilenstein für die kammermusikalische Entwicklung.... (extract from press release)
Telemann in Paris
Only once in his lifetime did Telemann travel abroad. In Paris he fell in love with the French and left us with these beautiful Paris Quartets.
January 26 & 27, 2008
The Stichting Musica Antica da Camera Voorschoten is an individual, non-profit organization which has supported young musicians in Holland for more than ten years.
Visit Stichting Musica Antica da Camera
photo and program description courtesy of Stichting Musica Antica da Camera
October 25 & 26, 2007
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Meet the Masters at Le Concert Spirituel: The 'Paris' Quartets of G.Ph. Telemann
The starting point of our quartet and an all-time favorite for our audience. Telemann's solid knowledge of instrumentation and masterful sense of different national styles resulted in these two outstanding collections of quartet music specifically for our setting. Although he was not the only one to have composed for this genre, these pieces enjoyed far greater success than those by his contemporaries. Featuring music from both books, 1736 and 1738.
A Mixed Bag from Paris
Certainly Telemann was not the only composer who wrote great music for our instrumentation. In this program, a 'Paris' Quartet is coupled with selections by other French composers such as Couperin, Rebel, and Morel. Highlights include Couperin's La Françoise from Les Nations, and Jean Féry Rebel's unearthily beautiful Triosonata in D major.
L'Entretien des Muses
This is a program featuring the most beloved instruments of the French baroque, namely the harpsichord, the viola da gamba, and the traverso. The wealth of quality music written for these instruments is an attest to their capabilities in expressing the quintessence of the French baroque language. Join Le Mercure and the Muses in a musical dialogue filled with elegance, charm, and finesse, yet not without a breath of facetiousness! Featuring works of Boismortier, Couperin, Marais, and Rameau, amongst others.
Our love for the works of Telemann continues in this program, where music other than his 'Paris' quartets are featured. Musique Mosaïque shows the multifaceted Telemann through his diverse instrumental works. Beware, you may not recognize the Telemann as you know him!
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Atelier des 7 Cordes
het jonge podium voor oude muziek