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Sunday, May 28, 2006

CD REVIEW - LES NOTES DE LECRAN - The best of French film music Vol.1

LES NOTES DE LECRAN - The Best of French film music Vol.1
Music by Georges Delerue
Cinefonia Records CFSAMP001
26 Tracks 58:36 mins

This, the first in three releases in what is hoped will be an ongoing series from Cinefonia Records, features selections from four scores by the late lamented Georges Delerue, commencing with 1969's Jacquou le Croquant, which is the only score here in mono sound, but is fine nevertheless. The title track presents a typically flowing orchestral theme from the composer, which is followed by a pretty theme for harp and flute, the three somewhat melancholy cues, though the last of these does brighten up, leading us into a reprise of the main theme for guitar and flute.
1979's Le Chevaux du Soleil is the only score presented here that is familiar to me, my having once owned the soundtrack album. It has a strikingly beautiful main theme, which is played in all its glory over the Main and End Titles, but is also given a more intimate treatment in "Triste est l'amour. Two marches feature in the score, the first, quite solemn for flutes and drums, the second, a much jollier affair. "Promenade en foret" comes between them, an achingly sad affair. A couple of middle-eastern flavoured cues make up the selected cues.
1977's Le Chandelier commences with a sad theme for violin and orchestra, which is reprised in a longer version over the End Titles. In between, we have what appear to be four source tracks, the best of which are a waltz for violin, cello and piano, and a lively quickstep.
The collection concludes with 1979's Le Jeune Homme Vert, which opens with the lovely "Andante pour violin et orchestre," which is self-explanatory. An equally lovely melody for guitar and orchestra follows, then although "Ballade melancolique" certainly starts out that way, it becomes yet another lovely new theme, possibly the best of a fine bunch. The next cue sees a welcome reprise of this theme for flute and orchestra, which also closes the album in yet another, shorter variation. In between, there is a nice waltz for piano and strings.
This is a simply gorgeous collection of music from one of the world's great melodists, and is presented in a deluxe gatefold digipack. Another great melodist, Vladimir Cosma, features in the second and third in the series, both of which will also be reviewed here, so watch this space!


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