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Every morning in the world: an ode to baroque music in Creuse

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Just remember. As he is in the twilight of his life, Marin Marais recalls the memories he had with Monsieur de Saint-Colombe, his master. When he’s only 17, this cobbler’s son, knocks on the musician’s door. He wants to be his student. The great violinist then asks him to interpret a variation of Folia. The sentence is heavy: “You make music, sir, you are not a musician. “. He doesn’t want him as a disciple. However, he will reconsider his judgment a month later. It is the beginning of a huge collaboration, between admiration and respect.

While part of the film was shot in the Golden Gallery of the Hôtel de Toulouse (Haute-Garonne), Alain Corneau chose Creuse for the more intimate scenes between Saint-Colombe and Marais. The austere decor of Château Bodeau in Rougnat was perfectly suited to the personality of the master violinist, taciturn, old-fashioned and having difficulty communicating with others. The French director had therefore opted for this beautiful manor house, which at the time belonged to the lyric singer José Van Damme. Among its many attractions, this beautiful castle has a splendid wooden fireplace, carved around 1650. As the house is private, it will nevertheless be difficult for visitors to admire it. In addition, few parts of the building are visible from the outside.

If the scenes of Saint-Colombe’s intimate life, notably with his two daughters, were filmed in this castle, those of the transmission of knowledge took place in the Abbey of Moutier d’Ahun. Near Guéret (Creuse), this Benedictine abbey was built from 997. The church choir then served as the setting for the duo concert by Marin Marais and Monsieur de Saint-Colombe. The rich carved woodwork of the 17th century, which made the reputation of the place, brought a warmth to the notes rising towards the heavens. Among the remarkable pieces of this provincial Gothic style, the altarpiece (construction at the back of the altar) with twisted columns and the door surrounds of the side chapels of the choir were fashioned by Simon Bouer, a famous Auvergne craftsman.

This multi-césarisé film (7 awards), was also appreciated by novices for the baroque pieces interpreted by Jordi Savall, virtuoso of the viola da gamba. The soundtrack sold thousands of copies, featuring compositions by Marais and Saint-Colombe, but also by Lully and Couperin.

Recharge your batteries, meditate to the sound of baroque music and follow in the footsteps of “Tous les matins du monde” (Every Morning in the World), this is possible by taking the roads of Creuse (New Aquitaine). Château Bodeau and Moutier d’Ahun Abbey will also delight architecture enthusiasts. Sites to discover.

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By Anthony Thibault

Monday, December 3, 2018

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