This CD is a complete delight and a pleasant change from the normal OSTs
sent to us for review.
Marquise is a French film set in the 17th Century France of Louis XIV.
King Louis had a discerning taste and sensitivity for music which encouraged
the evolution of music at his court and in the theatre. When appointed into
Louis XIV's service, composer, Jean Baptiste Lully, helped to establish more
firmly a musical style à la français which proved
influential in the theatrical, and even more so in orchestral spheres during
the Baroque era which had hitherto been extensively dominated by Italian
repertoire. With the collaboration between Moière and Lully, the
association of music and theatre found a new impulse - a true union between
French and Italian styles, the one gracefully and gently enhancing the other.
The film. Marquise, traces the rise of Marquise, a courtesan
from the streets of Paris into high society, working as an actress in the
theatre where she is befriended by both Molière and Racine.
The music for Marquise is by 17th Century composers: Marin Marais,
Luigi Rossi, Guillaume Dumanoir and Lully together with some anonymous
compositions. Of the 31 short numbers in the programme, arranged in four
suites to make varied and interesting listening, many have been arranged
by Jordi Savall who directs Le Concert des Nations. Savall has also composed
three numbers in the style of the others. In depicting the life and rise
of Marquise, music from the streets, from Molière's theatre (Preludes,
Sarabandes and Gavottes) and from the King's court is employed through the
score. The well integrated ensemble playing of Le Concert des Nations, on
what sound like period instruments, has verve and virtuosity. Most pieces
are strongly rhythmical and attractively melodic. I would just mention a
few. Imposing stately court music is heard in "La Marche Royale" and a short
"Fanfare" composed by Savall; another original Savall piece emanating from
the streets, is "Musette" which has a distinctly North African bazaar atmosphere.
Then there is the delightfully feminine and graceful "Sarabande la Marquise".
"Charivaris" is a delightful, high spirited dance, so too is another street
piece "Marche" which despite its title is a very lively dance, while "Echos"
has trumpets on and off-stage playing in canon. Darker, more sinister music
(by Savall) for the more dramatic elements of the screenplay, comes in
"Les Ombres" all low drum rumblings and deep viol dronings.