The Royal Court was not enough for Jean-Baptiste Lully

The fleur-de-lis – the heraldic sign of France’s kings. © Charles Thibo

Many years ago, I visited the Château de Versailles, home to the French King Louis XIV (1638-1715). The past splendor of this impressive castle was and still is visible in the many golden ornaments, the vast park, the magnificent chandeliers and the huge paintings on the walls. I was disappointed nevertheless. It seemed to me a dead place. A house without a soul. So while  I wandered through the many rooms, I tried to imagine what life in this castle had been like, but somehow my fantasy could not be stimulated. The place remained dead.

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Music for the viol glowing like embers in the dark

Wood for a welcoming fire in a welcoming house. © Charles Thibo

It was mid-November when I set out to write this post. It was grey and cold and wet outside. Sort of unwelcoming. But it was so cosy inside our house, especially since I enjoyed welcoming music. When I heard these pieces for the first time, I thought of wood, grey-brown dried wood. Wood for the fireplace. Beech wood that gives a lot of embers keeping the heat for a long time. The fireplace keeps us warm and made this a welcoming house on such an afternoon.

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