01. 2:21 Marche pour la cérémonie des Turcs (J.B. Lully)
02. 1:11 Improvisation sur les Folies d'Espange (M. Marais)
03. 1:48 Prélude pour Mr Vauquelin (J. Savall)
04. 1:30 Gavotte du Tendre (Sainte Colombe)
05. 2:02 Une jeune fillette (Mélodie populaire - arrangement J. Savall)
06. 4:10 Les Pleurs (Sainte Colombe): version viole seule de J. Savall
07. 8:24 Concert à deux Violes ``Le Retour'' (Sainte Colombe)
08. 5:01 La Rêveuse (M. Marais)
09. 12:48 Troisième Leçon de Ténèbres à 2 voix (F. Couperin)
10. 6:02 L'Arabesque (M. Marais)
11. 2:44 Fantaisie en mi mineur (Anonyme XVIIe siècle - J. Savall)
12. 2:24 Les Pleurs (Sainte Colombe): version à 2 violes
13. 6:59 Le Badinage (M. Marais)
14. 7:12 Tombeau pour Mr de Sainte Colombe (M. Marais)
15. 3:15 Muzettes I-II (M. Marais)
16. 7:53 Sonnerie de Ste Geneviève du Mont-de-Paris (M. Marais)
Initial copies include a free bonus album, Dix ans après, packed in a card slip-case and without notes, but which offers 17 more selections by St. Colombe, J.B. Forqueray, Lully & Maris [63:54]
The popular art-house film Tous les Matins du Monde (1991 - Gérard Depardieu, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Anne Brochet) introduced the modern world to obscure 17th century composer Sainte Colombe. French writer Pascal Quignard, on whose novel the film was based, first heard the viol player's work on an early LP by Jordi Savall. When a film version was in the offing it was natural Savall, the world's undisputed master of the viola da gamba, direct the music performances for the soundtrack. This lengthy album is an expanded, remastered version of the original best-selling oST, elegantly repackaged and lavishly presented with copious full colour photographs in digipak format to match Savall's other titles on his own Alia Vox label. The 16 tracks comprise in the main austere viol music by Sainte Colombe and Marin Marais, either for solo instrument or scored for two players or small ensemble - violin, theorbo (double-necked lute) and clavichord.
There is a plain, introspective melancholy to this writing which is an acquired taste, but which once acquired becomes compelling. Savall is a musician of impeccable taste and consummate artistry, and while the film may leave many audiences cold the music is powerfully moving. Music from a quieter, less rushed age, these pieces require time and attention but the rewards are great. Allow Jordi Savall to transport you to another age and much modern music will seem crass and overblown by comparison. As a centre-piece the disc offers the sopranos Montserrat Figueras (Savall's wife) and Maria Cristina Kiehr in a gorgeous 12 minute sacred work by Francois Couperin, Troisième Leçon de Ténèbres à 2 voix, performed by Savall's Le Concert des Nations.
The bonus disc essentially offers more of the same but with a much greater concentration on the music of Jean-Baptiste Lully. If you like this then the excellent Les Divertissements de Versailles, a new disc of court music by Lully performed by Les Arts Florissants and directed by William Christie should provide much satisfaction.
My interview with Jordi Savall can be read here.
Gary S Dalkin