Tous Les Matins Du Monde Import, Soundtrack, Hybrid SACD
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Whether or not you saw the film Tous les matins du monde, you owe it to yourself to either discover or revisit its soundtrack, which features the music of two great figures of 17th-century France: Saint Colombe and his pupil Marin Marais. Saint Colombe, about whom little is known, was a great viol player who was acclaimed for his improvisations. Marais became a member of the famed court orchestra under Lully (some of whose music also appears on the disc) at a very young age. One of the joys of this recording is the sound of the bass viol, an instrument rarely played by itself, especially in such a virtuoso manner. Jordi Savall is the undisputed modern master of the instrument, and he shows us why on this program. As an added bonus, two outstanding vocal pieces are sung with endearing purity, flawless technique, and impeccable intonation by two perfectly matched sopranos. --David Vernier --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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There has been more than a little grizzling among viola da gamba buffs over Jordi's role in arranging the music for this film. Most of it seems to be pure envy at Savall's scholarship and performing abilities. If nothing else, owning this CD will lead you to a world of beautiful music. That world might even prompt you to listen to others performing the same pieces, each presenting it in their own way.
For those who know the story, the film and the music pivot around the life of Monsieur de Sainte Colombe. A figure of historical mystery, still unidentified, what is known of his life comes from a journal kept by Marais. Grieving for his lost wife, he retired to a hut at the bottom of his garden. Rumour had it he was visited by his wife's ghost, who critiqued his compositions. Sainte Colombe added a new string to the viola, drastically changing the character of the instrument, extending its range and depth. Sainte Colombe was a master composer for the instrument. And Jordi Savall unmatched in his performance of the music.
Savall, of course, has virtually resurrected Monsieur Sainte Colombe's music from the obscurity of the specialist's interest. Now, his melodious renditions are to be found in any classical store shelf. Savall's interpretations, however, remain the pinnacle all other performers aspire to match. This CD has set a standard for 17th Century music renditions. If you are the least interested in the period, the music and/or the range of qualities Sainte Colombe introduced when he added that seventh string to the instrument, this CD is a mandatory beginning. Just be aware that while Jordi Savall may not be [g]od, his music is divine. It will take you to a blissful paradise of sound that you can enjoy again and again. You will never regret buying this disk.
This CD proves that it's too bad that the viol family was pretty much killed off by the violin family (except for the aforementioned bass viol). I have bought this CD for several friends and family members. The all are astonished at the music and play the CD over and over.
And by all means, if you can find the tape, see the movie. Such a movie never could have been made in the US. Like the music, the movie is slow, sad, and very beautiful.
The rich, pungent tones of the viola da gamba, played by Jordi Savall, are the main feature of this CD. Savall is an acknowledged master of the instrument, and of this music. In quick passages he plays effortlessly; in the more expansive passages he caresses each note like it too will never return. The music is varied, including a celebratory introduction, but the more meditative mood predominates. Savall is joined on about half the tracks by a few other choice players in various combinations, with harpsichord, theorbo (a lute-like instrument of low range), violin, and/or second viola da gamba. The first track is the only one to include an entire (small) orchestra. Two tracks include vocals by Savall's wife Montserrat Figueras and Maria Cristina Kiehr.
The music is mostly by the two composers whose relationship is the focus of the movie, the mysterious Sainte-Colombe (c 1630-c 1700) and Marin Marais (1656-1728), with a few pieces by near contemporaries, and one by Savall.
This recording was a surprise hit, selling hundreds of thousands of copies, very unusual for a classical album. People who had never heard of music like this fell in love with it right alongside afficionados.
There is now a 2-disc remastered reissue of this CD with more recently recorded music along the same lines on the second disc (here--there are also samples from the music at that link).
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