Once there was a website titled: "Jordi Savall is God!". The site has disappeared, but it's hard not to have sympathy with that viewpoint. Introduced to Savall through this CD, it made me an immediate fan. A strained budget fails to cease the slow but steady accumulation of his music. Still, it is this CD which is brought off the shelf most often, to be enjoyed without reservation.
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.