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December 1991: the French film world was swept off its feet by a single event, the the release of the film Tous les matins du monde. An intimist film in which the star role was played by… music, the music of a forgotten master, Mr de Sainte Colombe and his disciple Marin Marais. Surpassing all expectations, the film was an immediate success and for two weeks held its own at the box office against two powerful “machines” of the American cinema, Terminator 2 and Bernard and Bianca, – it was, after all, the Christmas period! The soundtrack of the film immediately followed suit and made its way into the charts and other all-category best-sellers, just behind Michael Jackson and ahead of Queen…

It was an incredible success which justly rewarded the fruit of a close collaboration among three great artists, all of them lovers of early music, who had taken on the challenge of making music the very crux of a film : the director, Alain Corneau, the writer and author of the screenplay, Pascal Quignard and above all Jordi Savall, the musical director and performer of the soundtrack. The film scooped up 7 Césars – including the award for the best film music, which went to Jordi Savall – and received numerous international awards for the soundtrack.

Festival of the Sun King

Initiated by Hex Ensemble the best way to define this series of film screenings and live music concerts is to list the alternative titles discussed for the series:

Festival of the Sun King - Exploring the the world of the French Court through Music and Film.

Tous les Matins du Monde - A series of films and concerts inspired by the French baroque.

Versailles - Reflections and echoes from the French court.

Hex was formed in 2022 and had its inaugural performance at Brixworth Music Festival. The group was set up to explore the otherworldly sounds of violas da gamba with continuo. Inspired by the associations between the viola da gamba and voice the group works on the historical practice of vocal transcriptions to bring in lesser performed composers into their concerts. Naturally at home in the French baroque, the group aims to win this rarely performed music new fans with programmes that showcase the beauty and expressivity of this repertoire. 

All the Mornings of the World

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 violin.