A Royal Dream

There are dreams that become a reality even more beautiful than the dream itself: for instance, entering the
Château de Versailles and being alone there on a day when it is closed to the public, welcomed and then
guided through the royal flats to one of the most beautiful salons where Madame Victoire, daughter of Louis
XV, organised small concerts for her intimates in the 18th century.
There waiting for us were the marvellous harpsichordist Céline Frisch and Alain Anselm, in charge of the
royal harpsichords at the Château. Playing alternately on the two instruments (17th and 18th century) to give
us a taste of the differences in sound, Céline Frisch then performed, with all her talent for delicacy, subtlety
and vivacity, a programme prepared for us: "A Day with Louis XV", featuring works by Couperin, Royer and
Ballastre, as if we were following the king through his daily activities: "Le réveil-matin", "Les Plaisirs de la
chasse", "Les tendres sentiments", "Les amusements".... up to the King’s bedtime ("The Stars").
Alain Anselm punctuated the concert with explanations enabling us to discover the secrets of these
exceptional instruments and appreciate their extraordinary pictorial decorations.
The afternoon ended at the home of some diplomatic friends, in a superb private mansion adjoining the
Château, where we were able to chat, a drink in hand, with these two extraordinary artists who had enabled
us to live such an exceptional dream.
Annie Lionnet