La Rêveuse, by Marin Marais

If you love early music I strongly recommend watching the film Tous Les Matins Du Monde (All the Mornings of the World) which tells the story of Marin Marais, a late 17th century composer,  and his apprenticeship under the wings of master viola da gamba and bass viol, Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe. The soundtrack for the film features Jordi Savall playing pieces written by both composers and other period music. Gerard Depardieu is playing the aging Marais who reminisce about his youth. In one of the key scenes of the movie, Marais is playing his composition Les Reveuse (The Dreamer) to the ailing Madeleine, Sainte-Colombe’s daughter and Marais’ once-lover. This is a sad scene, and the music enhances its somber mood. The piece was written for a bass viol (a 7-string version of a viola da gamba), harpsichord and theorbo, a double neck bass lute. If you are confused by the variety of early instruments, the pictures below might help.

Jordi Savall, who formed the ensemble Hespèrion XX and released over a 100 albums interpreting early music, won a César award from the French film industry for his work on the film.

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2 replies »

  1. Viol da Gamba, Viol by the foot. Marin Marais. My goodness you have as broad a tastes as I. You must play.Few with such broad tastes and so dedicated to the art don’t pick up some type of horn. Tu le matin du monde is a wonderful film. All the mornings of the World as Marin Marais looks back over his life and service to le Roy Soleil his friendships with De Visee and tribulations with Lully.
    Marin was “the” Viol da Gamba player and his fantastic music transcribes well to guitar as its really a tenor instrument than a true contra bass, but can cover the bottom.

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