Tous Les Matins du Monde

Tous Les Matins du Monde is a beautiful, captivating, heart-rending film about real-life 17th century French Baroque composer Marin Marais. This film, from 1991, which stars Gérard Depardieu as Marais, and Depardieu’s own son, Guillaume as the young Marais is stunning.

Marin Marais was born in 1656 and died in 1728, and he was a viol player and a composer of Baroque music. Now, the plot of this film centres around Marais’ six month period of living with an learning from viole master Sainte Colombe and his two daughters, who are excellent musicians in their own right. There is a stream of emotion and music, love and loss to make this film stay with you.

I shan’t go into further detail about the plot, as you should see this film if you can, but I felt truly moved at the end. It is in beautiful, clearly enunciated French, but it’s ok if you can’t speak French – unless you’re the type of person who hates subtitles? Still worth the effort, I say. As for me, I’m always happy to see Depardieu in 17th century attire – it suits him beautifully, and his son, the late Guillaume Depardieu is exquisitely handsome and possessing a charming innocence.

Screenshot from Tous Les Matins du Monde.

To say that the music was superb would be a gross understatement. The music is lush and the viol is perfectly played by Jordi Savall. Once you become a devotee of Baroque, Savall’s name will come up again and again – and with good reason; he is simply amazing. The music consists of pieces from Marais, Saint-Colombe & Jean-Baptiste Lully.

My favourite piece, which was used throughout the film, is the haunting La Rêveuse – 4ème livre de Pièces de viole, which was composed by Marin Marais. The poignant sound of the viole is the perfect accompaniment to the drama of the scenes. I often listen to this soundtrack whilst I work on my book, and it proves to be a most inspirational album. So, I heartily recommend both the film and the amazing soundtrack.

Hear ye! 4 thoughts — so far — on “Tous Les Matins du Monde”:

  1. Gunnar

    Drat, another dead end! I would love to know which house was used in the film as the home of Sainte Columbe and his daughters. (He also had an illegitimate son by the way, who also composed for the viola da gamba too.) The house is beautiful, all the more so because of it’s architecturally ornamented rooms, with sparse and austere furnishings. The scene of the young Marais playing his viola while wearing a red jacket, with a simple vase of red poppies in the background, is typical of the evocative imagery from this film.

      1. Gunnar

        It does help, thank you! I somehow missed this when searching on the internet. The chateau must have been used as the home of the Sainte Columbe family, the abbey church for the church/chapel scene, and the hotel for Versaille, where we saw Marais conducting. I love you blog by the way. If I ever lived another life, it was in the 17th century. That period speaks to me in ways that the 21st century does not. I’ve created a small period library/music room in our home, and spend a lot of time in it, “time traveling”! 🙂


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