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#Cottagecore: Marie-Antoinette dans le Hameau

July's Virtual Communitea Chamber Music Concert

Jean-Jacques Rousseau - Overture: Gay-Lent-Gay from Le Devin du Village

Sarah Stone, treble viol, piccolo cello, viola da gamba, and baroque cello

Kevin Devine, harpsichord

Welcome to the Hambeau!

Like the #cottagecore aesthetic popular online right now, Marie-Antoinette built her hameau as an escapist means to enjoy romanticized farm life. The Hameau de la Reine started construction in 1783 at Versailles as Marie-Antoinette's rustic retreat. The queen's model village was inspired by Prince of Condé's Hameau de Chantilly built in 1774–1775, and had a mill, daries, barns, a Colombier filled with doves, and a working farm. We hope you enjoy tonight's Communitea Chamber Music concert, full of the sounds of mussettes and hurdy-gurdys, and find ways to engage with your inner shepherd/shepherdess/shepherdx!


From left to right:

Nouveau plan de Versailles (1787) from Lunds Universitetsbiblioteks

Photo of "La Maison de la Reine" (the Queen's House) in 1934 from the Swedish Riksantikvarieämbetet

Plan des jardins français et champêtre du Petit Trianon (1787)



Lest we forget that Marie-Antoinette was a Habsburg...

Before Marie-Antoinette was the last queen of France, she was Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna, archduchess of Austria. Maria Antonia was the youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa, who ruled the Habsburg empire for over 40 years, and Emperor Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. Born in 1755 at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria, Maria Antonia was raised by Countess von Brandeis with her older sister Maria Carolina. At the age of seven, she met Mozart (also seven) and eventually through her studies with Christoph Willibald Gluck, played harpsichord, harp, flute, and sang for her family as an accomplished musician. Academically, she was less interested and didn't enjoy her private tutors; she had trouble reading and writing in German, French, and Italian into her early teens and it wasn't until her mother started grooming her that things clicked.

When Maria Antonia was just 15, her mother decided to marry her off to the grandson of her lifelong enemy, Louis XV, so that the two nations might work together against their common foes, Prussia and Great Britain. She was married by proxy to Louis-Auguste (the Dauphin of France) and only met her husband afterwards in the Forest of Compiègne after leaving Austria.

“Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen” by HeinrichIsaac

Ben Matus, hümmelchen (German small pipes)

We're excited to share that Ben Matus received this newly-built hümmelchen just over a week ago and this virtual Communitea concert is it's first public outing. Thank you for sharing it with us, Ben!


Soon the wedding party returned to Versailles and the couple were married more formally on May 16, 1770. Part of the entertainment included Le devin du village (the Village Soothsayer), a intermède by the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

ABOVE: Cérémonie du Mariage de Louis-Auguste, Dauphin de France, avec l'archiduchesse Marie-Antoinette d'Autriche; Célébré dans la Chapelle de Versailles, le 16 may 1770by Claude-Louis Desrais (1746-1816)

BELOW: Du contrat social, ou Principes du droit politique

by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

In Rousseau's most famous work, The Social Contract, he writes about freedoms; in a state of nature, people have physical freedom but lack morality and rationality. People do what they want, controlled by their impulses. While the point of his work was to find a social contract and by doing so, give up some freedom to become fully human, Rousseau thought that this state of nature was in many ways better than the slavery imposed on contemporary society. And when looking at Marie-Antoinette constantly surrounded by the complex political scene at Versailles, an arcadian fling at her hambeau looks very appealing.

“Ta foi ne m’est point ravie” from Le Devin du Village arr. Toussaint Bordet

Kevin Devine, hurdy-gurdy



Read about #Cottagecore in this New York Times article

by Isabel Slone from March 10, 2020

Basically Cottagecore is a niche aesthetic centered around

  • rural living

  • getting back to nature

  • sustainability

  • gardening

with influences from movies like

  • A Room with a View (1985)

  • The Secret Garden (1993)

  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society (2018)

  • Anne of Green Gables (1985)

  • Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

and fun activities including

  • writing poetry

  • cross-stitching

  • pressing flowers

  • domesticating animals

  • sitting in open fields

“Dans ma cabane obscure” from Le Devin du Village arr. Toussaint Bordet

Kevin Devine, hurdy-gurdy


Something delicious from Communitea LIC!

The Buddha Bowl at communitea is ever-changing and always delicious. Something pickled, something crunchy, yummy proteins, and great dressings!!

Also if you haven't seen their instagram, one of the awesome baristas at Communitea, Talia, started making ice cream:

"While we were closed, Talia made lots of ice cream and now she’s making it for you! Introducing our housemade, small batch, artisanal tea ice cream: Spicy-Chai, Smokey Lapsang Souching, Lavender Earl Grey! Add them to ice coffee or iced chai for a float! Flavors will be rotating and made from our loose leaf teas."

“Vielle” from Première Suite a Deux Musettes Op. 17 Œuvre XI by J.B. de Boismortier

Kevin Devine, hurdy-gurdy


The Grand Finale!

Like all the best opera, the finale of Le Devin du Village is unbelievably catchy! As we recorded, we fell in love with it! Here are some texts we sent about this piece:

  • "Soundtrack to my imaginary hameau"

  • "It's the 18th century's "It's a Small World""

  • "Play this song at my funeral on loop"

  • "Even my husband is humming it"

  • "Moar franch music plz"

We hope you enjoy!

Jean-Jacques Rousseau “Allons Danser” from Le Devin du Village

Margot Rood, voice Kevin Devine, harpsichord and hurdy-gurdy

Sarah Stone, violas da gamba

Thank you for joining us for #Cottagecore: Marie-Antoinette dans le Hameau!

Find us again the last Friday of August for more Communitea Chamber Music. If you enjoyed this virtual concert and would like to help support our musicians,


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