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Poetes and Chansons: Cocteau

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
These poems were drawn from diverse and uncommon books of verse including La Lampe d'Aladin, Cocteau's very first published volume; Plain-chant, a set of love poems for Raymond Radiguet, and Poemes a Jean Marais, inspired by the star of Orpheus and Beauty and the Beast. While the disc contains no actual recordings of Cocteau reading his own verses, this beautiful tribute does offer a surprising range of textures, arrangements, voices and instrumentation. "Amour Si Soucieux," delightful and somewhat irresistible, receives a Caribbean treatment using steel drums, marimba and saxophone chorus. "Le Mauvais Tapis Volant" comes across almost like cowboy saloon music, with ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
These poems were drawn from diverse and uncommon books of verse including La Lampe d'Aladin, Cocteau's very first published volume; Plain-chant, a set of love poems for Raymond Radiguet, and Poemes a Jean Marais, inspired by the star of Orpheus and Beauty and the Beast. While the disc contains no actual recordings of Cocteau reading his own verses, this beautiful tribute does offer a surprising range of textures, arrangements, voices and instrumentation. "Amour Si Soucieux," delightful and somewhat irresistible, receives a Caribbean treatment using steel drums, marimba and saxophone chorus. "Le Mauvais Tapis Volant" comes across almost like cowboy saloon music, with piano, banjo, tenor guitar and ricky-tick percussion. Smoky voiced Colombe Frézin intones the rather lonely, reflective verses of "Calme" backed by mandolin and piano. "Nocturne," with piano, banjo and fretless bass supporting Philippe Bilheur's moody intonation, brings to mind the darkened ballad style of Tom Waits. "Au Moment de Plonger" acts as a sort of flip side for the preceding track, continuing the mood but as if inhabiting a realm devised by the young Tim Buckley. It's almost like Giorgio de Chirico meets Nick Drake, if such a thing is possible and with Cocteau, everything is. "Je n'Aime pas Dormir" appears in a sort of noctambulistic psychedelic mode, with flute, organ and very understated rock drums. This enables the listener to simultaneously feel nostalgia for the 1920s, for the 1960s and for the Infinite. "Le Soleil Noir" involves flamenco guitar and a flute that could have been borrowed from one of Victor Jara's ensembles. "Grenade" introduces full-blown flamenco singing. "Jeunesse, Vous Jouez" introduces a wonderful grotesque hurdy-gurdy quality, with soft blurps out of what sounds like a peck horn or tuba. "Le Bruits" is a very early poem, describing how the poet's heart is crammed with the sounds of dying ocean vessels, shutters slamming in the wind and desolate train whistles. A very intriguing treatment of "Les Orgues" invokes and even employs the antique French carousel organ. "Weep! Weep! See, the handle turns/artless organs with your three refrains/sob out a waltz and then its ritournelle." Finally we are given what some would have wished for and thought they had missed: an historical recording of a musical setting of words by Cocteau. The year was 1935, the vocalist Marianne Oswald. One could easily mistake her for Edith Piaf, for all the right reasons. The studio orchestra behind her voice is perfectly dated, generating a combination of sounds that could never be re-created by post-modern musicians or recording engineers. As someone strikes a chime at the end of the piece, the listener is left with the pleasantly disoriented sort of sensation that Cocteau seemed always to be searching for.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/12/2012
  • Label: Imports
  • EAN: 3540139806922
  • Catalog Number: 1155111
  • Sales rank: 352,332

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jean Cocteau Primary Artist
Marc Robine Musical Direction, Guitar (Tenor)
Francois Rabbath Musical Direction
Serge Bouzouki Organ, Bouzouki, Guitar, Percussion, Saz, Clavier, Baglama, Fretless Bass Guitar, Mandoline
Hélène Triomphe Banjo, Guitar, Clavier
Dominique Charnay Piano, Clavier, Basse
Laurent Hateau Flute, Saxophone
James Ollivier Track Performer
Technical Credits
Jean Cocteau Composer
Wal Berg Orchestra Leader
Marc Robine Composer, Liner Notes
Francois Rabbath Arranger
Serge Bouzouki Engineer
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