Great band that interprets themes written by Charles Trenet, Django Reinhardt, Phil Boutelje, Al Jolson/Saul Chaplin, Georges Brassens, and Georges Ulmer in gypsy jazz swing style.
From Valleyfield, Quebec, Canada comes Dionysos who were the very first Quebecois rock band from 69. They disbanded in 74 only to regroup in 76 to record an eponymous album unofficially called ''Changé d' Adresse''. Most of the early albums' roughness is gone and replace by a jazzier and poppier sound yet still progressive in places, making the album a bit more accessible. In 1978 bandleader Paul-André Thibert records a ''solo'' album entitled ''Musique De Mes Amis Dionysos'' enlisting most of the band's members resulting in a fairly similar work to his band's preceding record. Thus logically ending up in their discography.
Fête Galante, a 1999 release featuring soprano Karina Gauvin and pianist Marc-André Hamelin, won numerous awards, and the outstanding performances on this 2011 reissue confirm how well-deserved those honors were. Gauvin has an exceptional voice – clarion-bright, warm, confident, and agile, with a variegated palette of colors – and her effortlessly incisive interpretive skills give depth and life to everything she sings. The distinctiveness and character she brings to these songs show a terrific grasp of the genre of the mélodie, from the late 19th century songs by Fauré and the young Debussy to the mid-20th works by Poulenc, Honegger, and Émile Vuillermoz. The CD demonstrates her range with the zany comedy of Poulenc's "Paganini" followed immediately by the intensely poignant multi-layered sadness of the composer's profound "C." Throughout, Gauvin's tone is ravishingly pure and she soars gloriously in the more lyrical songs.
Ernest Chausson’s death in 1899 in a bicycle accident robbed French music of a major talent. Almost his entire orchestral output fits on this extremely fine CD. Yan Pascal Tortelier’s performance of the richly romantic Symphony is the best since Munch’s Boston Symphony recording. Like Munch, Tortelier knows how to keep the music moving along–he’s only an insignificant two minutes slower than Munch for the whole work–without overindulging the more luscious moments, which in Chausson’s opulent setting really do take care of themselves. Even better, rather than some overplayed encore piece by another composer, the symphony is coupled with two very attractive, rarely heard tone poems and two charming orchestral excerpts from the composer’s incidental music to Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The orchestra plays with conviction, Chandos’ sonics are gorgeous, and if you don’t buy this disc, you’re missing out on some marvelous stuff.
Two classic easy-listening albums by Paul Mauriat and His Orchestra, originally released in 1982 on the Philips label, together on one CD and remastered from the original analogue stereo tapes for Vocalion's trademark crystal-clear sound…
Each of the volumes in the ‘Portraits’ series is devoted to a French composer who has been unjustly neglected, and takes a general look at that composer’s output through performances by many talented artists. The texts (French/English) are completed by varied and hitherto unpublished iconography. Théodore Dubois is the perfect example of the ‘official’ composer during the time of French Romanticism: he successively was a Prix de Rome recipient (1861), organist at the Madeleine (1877), an academician (1894), and Director of the Conservatoire (1896) where he had been teaching since 1871. However, so much injustice as well as honour was heaped upon his music − accused of academic rigidity − that it is important to rehear it to be in a better position to judge its real interest value.
In addition to his many opera recordings for Decca over the years conductor Richard Bonynge also made arguably an even greater cultural contribution with these often first and only recordings of these important Ballets rarities. Unfortunately the bulk of the repertoire here is known mostly to dancers than to those who simply enjoy outstanding orchestral music- and it is to the latter that this set couldn't be more urgently recommended. For ballet professionals and music librarians, this quintessential offering is a must.
Jacques Tati's award-winning feature debut - a dazzling blend of satire and slapstick - was early evidence of his unique talent. Acclaimed by international critics as an innovative comic masterpiece, Jour de Fete is an hilarious expose of the modern obsession with speed and efficiency, set amidst the rural surroundings of a tiny French village. Tati plays an appealingly self-deluded buffoon, Francois - a postman who, impressed by the bristling efficiency of the U.S. postal system, makes a wholly misguided attempt to introduce modern methods in the depths of rural France. Initially released in black and white, but also shot in Thomsoncolor, an untested colour process, the film has been restored and is finally available in its original delicate colour. Jour de Fete at first aroused little interest among French distributors. Not until after its London premiere in March 1949, when it got good reviews and went on general release, did the French industry sit up and take notice. It won a prize for 'best scenario' at the Venice Film Festival, and in 1950 it was awarded the 'Grand Prix du Cinema Francais'.