It's late 17th century. The viola da gamba player Monsieur de Sainte Colombe comes home to find that his wife died while he was away. In his grief he builds a small house in his garden into which he moves to dedicate his life to music and his two young daughters Madeleine and Toinette, avoiding the outside world. Rumor about him and his music is widespread, and even reaches to the court of Louis XIV, who wants him at his court in Lully's orchestra, but Monsieur de Sainte Colombe refuses. One day a young man, Marin Marais, comes to see him with a request, he wants to be taught how to play the viola.Written by
Daniel Bjoerkman <Daniel.Bjoerkman@p16.lurivax.ct.se>
The soundtrack album of Baroque music outsold Michael Jackson, upon its release in France, and outsold Madonna upon its release in the United States. See more »
Throughout the film the music-making is very poorly mimed. See more »
[in French, using English subtitles]
Open your mouth so we can hear you. I can't follow you. You're not listening. You're going too fast. Let's start over with the first notes of the song. Stop! The Master has signalled. The Master would speak. Speak, Master.
Each note should end dying.
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See this and weep. Then weep some more (take tissues). Then listen to the soundtrack and weep along to beautifully-reproduced baroque chamber music.
The story is slow-paced and lovingly-shot, and deals with love, talent and labour being lost on the road to fame and fortune in the big city. Even in the seventeenth century, musicians sold out and left emotional wreckage behind them. (Not to mention one dramatically smashed viol, a suicide and a lot of crushed peaches.)
Though the film's big-name stars are the Depardieus pere et fils, the musical director, Jordi Savall, and the Concert des Nations should be given an equal billing!
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