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Gallant Letters and Music of the Grand Siècle

“The Range of Love”

Claire Monnot, Actress
Patrick Rudant, Baroque Transverse Flute
Etienne Galletier, Theorbo and Baroque Guitar

"He no longer feels for me what one feels when one loves
Love, Give him back the intention of pleasing me.
But whatever the ungrateful may do,
Never leave my heart. "

Antoinette Deshoulières

la gamme d'amour verrerie.JPG

The story
The Marquise de Rambouillet, Catherine de Vivonne, a historical character nicknamed Arthénice, receives in her private salon courtiers, people of power, scholars, musicians and popular poets to evoke in the pure spirit of the time the news of the kingdom, of the court , literature or music.
They also engage in literary games with this constant use of a cheerfulness nuanced with irony. To entertain these illustrious people, that day she brings a sulfurous book which relates the gallant stories of the court... 

The form
The range of love is a literary concert where the music is associated in different forms with various literary texts, by alternation, punctuation of certain passages read, or sometimes by accompaniment of the declamation. This articulation also works by relying on the musicality of the language. The solo or duo instruments respond and intertwine with the voice of the reading actress.
The spectators are considered characters in the fiction. The actress addresses them directly by integrating them with the musicians into the space of the show.
The structure of this literary concert creates a tension between the cheerful, piquant worldliness and the solitary subjectivity of the character of the Marquise. 

Photo credit: Yves-Marie Boennec


Crédit photo : Yves-Marie Boennec


Crédit photo : Yves-Marie Boennec

The texts

The gallant letters are taken from a satirical novel by Count de Bussy-Rabutin published in 1665: “The Romantic History of the Gauls”. This work, which remained secret for a long time, reached the king who immediately had its author imprisoned.
Sonnets, epigrams and other poems are signed by authors of the time: Isaac de Bensérade, Jean-François Sarasin, Guillaume Colletet, Molière and Antoinette Deshoulières.
These texts magnificently reflect all the nuances and implications of this delicious writing highlighted in the salon spirit of the time. 












Whether it is Jacques Hotteterre le Romain, Michel de la Barre (flautists), Robert de Visée (theorbist and guitarist) or Marin Marais (gambist), all the musicians invited this evening have in common that they have been chosen by Louis XIV to serve in the prestigious Music of the King's Chamber.
The flute was one of the means best suited to the musical aesthetics of its time. About him, Philippe Beaussant speaks in a sensitive voice but without sentimentality, generous but without ostentation, more flexible than the oboe or the recorder, more interior than the violin, and aiming above all to get closer to the ideal of time: the human voice.
As for the theorbo, it is the ideal instrument for this delicate music. De la Barre himself explains this in the warning of the pieces for the flute played this evening... "you will absolutely have to take a theorbo or a harpsichord or both together; but I believe that the theorbo is to be preferred to the harpsichord: because it seems to me that the sound of gut strings suits the sound of the transverse flute better than that of brass strings." 


Crédit photo : Yves-Marie Boennec

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