Anne Sadie Full text-:
When the complete works of the mysterious Sieur de Sainte-Colombe
were published in 1973, few viol players had even heard of him.
The music, concerts for two equal bass viols with its
cascades of unmetred notes, was unlike anything seen before. While
of considerable pedagogic interest for the way they teach
musicians to play in an improvisatory fashion, they were
considered rather difficult to bring off in concert. But if anyone
could, it would be Jordi Savall and Wieland Kuijken. In 1976 they
recorded five, which were subsequently reissued on CD in 1988, and
now five more in 1992, in the wake of the success accorded the
fictional film Tous les matins du monde (about the
relationship between Sainte-Colombe and his pupil, the court viol
player Marin Marais), for which Jordi Savall provided the
There is in fact a tremendous
difference of character between the performances. The earlier
recording now seems to have an air of gruff perfunctoriness about
its pacing, as if the players were somehow ill at ease. The force
of the music had evidently made a lasting impact on Savall, who
used several of the movements—from "Le retour" and the
"Tombeau les regrets"—in the film which he re-recorded
with his former pupil Christophe Coin. It is all the more
interesting that Savall should have collaborated again with
Kuijken on a second CD, and to such extraordinary effect.
We have in the second recording
a series of refined virtuoso dialogues. The rapport between
players and with the music is sublime: elegiac in the extended
passages of echoes in La conference, wonderfully seductive
in Le tendre (which was also used in the film soundtrack)
and almost able to make time stand still in La rougeville.
Gone is the tension one senses in the earlier recording, replaced
by an unrivalled rapport that will be truly satisfying to those
who have avidly followed their musical development during the
intervening years. I enjoyed this second CD immensely.
Article co-signé par J.-N. Coucoureux, S. Friedrich, S.Perreau
Résumé ou abrégé:
Les chroniqueurs de Classica
proclament cet enregistrement: "disque de
référence". Ne nous y trompons pas toutefois; cette
musique a été enregistrée bien avant que Savall ne nous fasse
découvrir par le film d'Alain Corneau ("Tous les matins du
monde") l'univers musical de Sainte Colombe. Il faut avant
tout voir dans ces concerts à deux violes "esgales"
"... une illustration de l'art de la conversation élégante,
de la joute technique davantage qu'une quelconque évocation
des sombres pensées d'un ermite retiré dans sa cabane de bois
!" Effectivement, "ces pièces sont plus lumineuses
qu'il n'y parait."
"Savall et Kuijken, les deux géants de la viole, conversent
le plus agréablement du monde, comme on l'aurait fait dans un
intime salon parisien".
Article co-signed by J.-N. Coucoureux, S. Friedrich, S.Perreau