Marin Marais & M. de Sainte-Colombe

Tous les matins du monde


Tous les matins du monde represents the founding shock of my childhood, as well as of my musician life. I discovered the soundtrack at age 4, and the film around 7, that includes several impressive scenes for young children!

However, ever since this first contact with music alone, everything was settled. I obviously owe this to my father, guitarist, and to my mother, passionate about music, who played it for me, in spite of their absence of any educational speech. This encounter was purely sensitive, with the tone of the viola da gamba, that I immediately asked to learn. I had heard this instrument before on various recordings, always used for the basso continuo. I never encountered before its voice alone, its colours and bendings, that fascinated infinitely more than the orchestral parts of the disc, although somewhat easier to listen to. 

Along the years, I impregnated plainly from the narrative of Alain Corneau’s movie, and then dived into Pascal Quignard’s novel. I compared Jordi Savall’s interpretation in the soundtrack and his interpretation of the same pieces on stage, and measured how much he infiltrated Sainte-Colombe and Marin Marais’s characters for the soundtrack, instilling every part of their psychology, even when it meant assuming an anti-historical approach that he certainly wouldn’t keep when playing the same pieces out of this context. Then became irresistible the will to abstract from the theorical restraints imposed by my professors, and to also try this theatrical exercise with my own intuitions and my own sensibility. 

Many bets, rules and assumptions guided me through this Pascal- like game that is a reconstruction to our need of Tous les matins du monde. 

First is to play all the music of the film, in the same order the audience discovers it watching the movie. That excludes keeping it to one to two violas only, and raise the issue of stage headcount for vocal and orchestral pieces! Hence the presence of two singers for the Troisième Leçon de Ténèbres of Couperin, and the consort that allows an effective reduction of Lully’s Bourgeois Gentilhomme extracts. I thank the musicians faithful to La Chapelle Harmonique who accepted to take part in this adventure, sometimes for a very short intervention! Indeed, these contrasts are essentials to the recollection and introspection of Sainte-Colombe in Le Retour or Les Regrets. 

Relationship to the text and to the stage are other stakes of this travel in which we wish to take the audience. Very soon, we renounced the idea of projecting images from the movie, that would appear repetitive. However, a work on stage space allows us to avoid the prosaic form of a simple concert, creating between the musicians and the comedian an atmosphere suitable to release the dramatical power of words and notes. Given the importance of differences between Pascal Quignard’s novel, the dialogues he wrote with Alain Corneau for the movie and historical sources (Titon du Tillet, Le Blanc), we worked to select texts directly linked to the music. Amazed by the voice of Jean-Damien Barbin, I asked him, and for my great happiness he accepted to join us. Hence this incredible luxury of giving this project accompanied by a major comedian. 

Valentin Tournet 


Alice Duport-Percier and Axelle Verner, soprano
or Lise Viricel and Lina Marcela-López, soprano
Evgeny Sviridov or Alix Boivert, violin
Jean-Christophe Dijoux or Camille Ravot, harpsichord
Eric Bellocq ou Albane Imbs, theorbo
Natalia Timofeeva, viola da gamba & cello
Valentin Tournet, viola da gamba & conductor


Sunday January 27th, 2022
Auditorium de Radio France